In ACT, Progetti Per Esempio Onlus, testimonianze

Dalle crêpes al maffé: Lèa, volontaria del progetto ACT – Youth in Movement, ci racconta la sua esperienza nei centri di accoglienza per migranti

Before I arrived in Palermo I had been studying in the communication field, along side my studies I worked numerous jobs in a variety of fields, such as in a bank, in marketing and in a restaurant and bar. However, after I received my degree I decided I did not want to continue in the communication field, I wanted to try something different. I decided to do volunteering work because I’m a curious person by nature and I saw the opportunity to do something I’d never tried previously. So, I decided to work in an association named Unis-Cité. 


They provided me with the opportunity to work with children and adults with disabilities, the time I spent working on these projects have since become some of my best memories and experiences. Therefore, after working on them I was sure that I wanted to work with and for people. I have always wanted to work abroad and this mobility project was the best way to continue to do what I had enjoyed previously.


I was really happy to have the opportunity to work with migrants. Fortunately, around me I’d never heard anything against migrants. But I know what kind of prejudices can be heard in daily life. “They stole our jobs”, “they should go back to their country”. So to clarify the situation and prejudices for myself, I thought what better way than to take part in this experience and work along side them?


In my work here at the reception centres I am able to speak with people about their experiences and sometimes hear their stories, for some this is not easy to speak about but for me essential to know to understand the situation they have come from.

Thanks to them I can now cook the famous “maffé” and they can cook some “crêpes”. In reality, what is more important for me is to share moments, cultures and to learn all the time whilst doing so.


So far in my experience here, I’m not disappointed as I have met a lot of good people and have realised it is a great opportunity to discover different cultures whilst at the same time sharing my own culture. I have also been able to discover a new place, Sicily. I have met local people and now I am getting used to living here even if it is really different to France. However, from the beginning this has been one of the main goals of this experience for me, being able to adapt to a new environment and learn new things.


If you where to ask me if I would recommend volunteering I would say this, if you want to be useful, if you have some doubts about your professional orientation or just want to change your daily life for a short time period, it’s easy. I just say: do it.

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