Syndicate content

Youth mobility work in Trieste

I went to Trieste, Italy, from mid-January to mid-April, as a youth mobility worker participating in the project "VIP Awareness Raising on Unemployment". It was a very great experience for me, because I had the chance to meet very kind people, both at the Istituto Rittmeyer, where I was working, and in the city itself.

I shared a flat with two Italian guys: one spoke very good French, and the other English. They both studied conference interpreting and they showed me quite a bit of the Triestine culture. Though I didn't spend so much time with them, as I was mostly at the Institute, sometimes we would eat together, or we would go running during the week-end (there are very beautiful woods and paths on the outskirts of the city). We also went to visit some nearby cities, such as Treviso or Venice.

As for my job, I was lucky enough to be surrounded by very kind people, who helped me a lot to understand how I had to work, what I had to do etc. I didn't know much Italian when I started, but they always explained things to me and helped me if something wasn't clear. Marialaura, in particular, who was doing an internship as secretary at the Institute, helped me a lot in this respect.

I was involved in the writing of the brochure, which had already been started by Nina (she had done a great job!) and which I continued to work on with Paola, who was hosted by VIEWS International in Li├Ęge. Also, I had to collect answers to a questionnaire for a policy paper, among visually impaired people. The Institute was a precious resource for me, as there were many people I could interview.

I also organized two awareness-raising sessions, one in the Institute itself and one in a job centre. During the first one, I mostly talked about visual impairment: mobility skills, use of technology etc. People were really interested and asked me a lot of questions, and it made me feel really good to show that being blind is not so terrible after all! At the second session I focused more on work-related issues when it comes to visually impaired people: I talked about the law systems in Belgium and Italy, and emphasized one aspect in particular: not only can blind people work as everybody else, but they can also do some extraordinary jobs that no one would expect them to do, such as journalism.

Theo at an awareness-raising session

As my Italian was not really fluent, I often switched to English during the sessions, sometimes mixing it with Spanish (I came to realize that Spanish is not too far from the Triestine dialect after all!). Also, Marialaura was with me and helped me to fill the gaps when I didn't know how to explain something in Italian.

Theo at another awareness-raising session

I really loved getting to discover Trieste and the Italian culture in general. As I already expected, food was delicious, and I got to eat a lot of pasta, pizza and much more!

All in all, it was a great experience for me, but way too short: it took me some time to get used to everything, and before I knew it it was already time to leave! I really believe that three months is not enough for such a unique experience, and that it would've been much better to stay there for six months up to one year.