26-04-2020 - When I was thinking about doing an European Solidarity Corps volunteering, one of the most important things I was taking into consideration, apart from the theme of the program, was the location.

I wanted a calm and small place, close to nature, where I could get easily into it. Also, I was looking for to improve my Italian, so I decided to look for places in Italy that would meet these requirements. After checking for a while the map where the volunteering programs are placed in the ESC web site, I discovered a small city inside a valley, embraced by the Dolomites. There I could see its name: Belluno. I kept working on my research and I found pictures of some of the most beautiful scenarios somebody could imagine; a stylized baroque bell tower in front of a huge, monumental wall of rock whose name, Monte Schiara, and its complete dominance of Belluno’s panomarics I discovered as soon as I arrived there and I put a foot outside the train station.
But, of course, how could I decide to begin this story without a good project! The “Raising Awareness, Standing in Solidarity” program gave (and still gives) me the opportunity to learn, discover and even teach about one of the problems that hits our modern society in a harder way: the food wasting and the environment. Also, the best thing of them all is that I was not alone. I was very lucky to live together with three great guys, from Albania, Kosovo and Tunisia, and to meet, collaborate and enjoy everyday with our great Italian friends and mentor. We engaged in some civic activities, like the Colletta Alimentare where, for several days of meetings and theory and one intense day of collecting, we were able to get food to distribute among the most needed people of the area. Always related with the food wasting topic, we organized a flashmob the 5 of February, National Day against Food Waste, in the main square of the village, Piazza dei Martiri, where we exposed, through our voices and actions, some of the most concerning data about food waste in Italy. But probably the most beautiful activity were the workshops we organized with the teenagers in the Renier high school: we designed a goose game board adding questions about the topic, so they could learn about it, and then they designed banners with messages against food waste. The workshops were all developed in English, except for the last one, where the students asked me to do it in Spanish! Finally, we had the opportunity to collaborate with a local radio, Radio ABM, making a program about our own interests. I had the opportunity to visit Slovenia and Croatia. Also, living just two hours away from Venice by train, you can’t stop thinking about the next excuse to visit it!

Victor Garrido Jiménez

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