European Volunteering as a tool for personal
and community transformation
March 2021 -
Bergolo - Italy
European Solidarity Corps
A once-in-a-life experience
A life-changing experience
The European Solidarity Corps is the European Union program for young people to volunteer or work in projects in their own country or abroad that benefit communities and people around Europe.
European Solidarity Corps projects are available to people from the age of 18 up to 30 years old.
Mission and principles
More information about the European Solidarity Corps [FAQs]
Individual volunteering lets young people participate in the daily work of organisations and lasts between 2 and 12 months. Participants can volunteer abroad or in their country of residence for projects covering social inclusion, environment, culture, and more.
The costs of accommodation and food are covered. Participants also receive a small allowance for personal expenses.
Join the Corps here!
Vitality is a European Solidarity Corps project that brings vitality and dynamism on different levels:
- in the rural community of Alta Langa and lower Piedmont by introducing 3 foreign volunteers who give visibility to the opportunities of the Erasmus program offered by Vagamondo Youth Organization, they collaborate with local entities in the realization of festivals and events and of their own personal project.
- in the lives of 3 young Europeans by giving them the opportunity to experience themselves outside of their own local reality and to discover new passions, enhancing undervalued talents. The project also provides learning opportunities in the field of youth work and by getting involved in projects for young people organized at local and at international level
- in the associations involved in the project: Associazione Vagamondo will receive new inputs and new ideas from the European volunteers that will increase the offer and the capacity of the association to operate at local, national and international level
Travel - discover - evolve
Vagamondo, based in the south of Piedmont region, in Italy, is an NGO focused on European mobility and non-formal education. It provides learning and growing opportunities for young people and youth workers.
The name Vagamondo comes from the concept of travel as a powerful tool of self-discovery and personal development: it is through direct contact with cultural and personal differences that identity becomes more visible to every individual; it is coming out of the comfort zone, getting involved in new activities, different from the usual ones, that people can identify room to grow and work on themselves.
In that condition of clarity non-formal education becomes a playground where people can practice new ways of thinking and acting; an effective tool to make a change that can create a long-term positive impact once back home, thus to improve the quality of personal and professional life.
From 2013 to 2020 Vagamondo took part in the organization and implementation of more than 120 international projects in Italy and abroad, involving more than 400 young people and youth workers.
Some of our past projects
Fahed - Romania and Syria
This volunteer can be you!
Lola wants to build her own youth organization in France. She joined Vagamondo to learn and practice all the aspects related to the implementation of international youth projects and local activities for young people.
Fahed is an engineer, he decided to quit his job and be part of Vitality to take some time for himself, explore new passions and work on his personal transformation.
He is also a guitar player.
Theys age is in the range 18 - 30
They are officially resident in Europe
They are available for volunteering for a period of 12 months from March 2021 till March 2022
They are pretty fluent in English and they are willing to learn some Italian.
They want to work directly with local people and with young people from other countries
They want to practice and improve their group work skills and attitudes in a multicultural context
They want a pause from their daily life, a moment to focus on themself, experiment with new things and valorize old/new passions, in order to be able to start again after volunteering with clearer priorities and newly defined goals.
They want to live for 1 year in a village in the countryside: they are into experiencing rural life!
They belong to one of the following categories:
They already had experiences in working with young people and in non-formal education and/or they took part already in some international youth exchanges or training and they are interested in learning how to organize these projects and to increase their competencies in youth work and in running a youth organization.
They have no experience with non-formal education and youth mobility projects or they have had very few experiences in this field and they want to expand their horizons, get to know another country, another European culture and live abroad, discovering new ways to live.
There is a maximum amount of 275€ to reimburse the A/R travel costs of the volunteers.
The 3 volunteers will be sharing an apartment in the main square of Bergolo, 150 m far from the office.
The apartment consists of a kitchen with dining room, a bathroom and 2 bedrooms. Volunteers will decide for themselves how to settle in the rooms. The rental and all expenses related to housing are covered by the project funds.
FOOD AND POCKET MONEY
There is a reimbursement available for food expenses up to 150€ per month
Each volunteer will receive a monthly pocket money of 150€
The usual daily working schedule is from 9 to 13 and from 14 to 17, from Monday to Friday
When youth exchanges, trainings or other events are taking place in Bergolo, the schedule will be different and may include also the weekends.
All local transports related to the activities of the project are covered by the project funds.
There is a car that the participants can drive, gasoline expenses are covered by the project funds.
The volunteers will support Associazione Vagamondo in the development of youth exchanges and training courses and volunteering in Bergolo and abroad.
- Communications with partner organizations, local partners and participants
- Visibility of the projects on the media, social media of the organization and face-to-face
- Preparation of the projects with local young people
- Practicals and logistic
- Facilitation of workshops and non-formal activities
- Planning and project management
- Small maintenance and manual work
Promotion of youth opportunities
Volunteers will promote the international opportunities for young people and for the Youth Sector available within the ESC and Erasmus + program, They will focus on the municipalities of Alta Langa and lower Piedmont through meetings in high schools, universities, organizations and other public and private spaces. This will increase the access to youth opportunities of young people who live in rural areas. They will also organize visibility expeditions in closeby cities.
Festivals and cultural activities
The municipality of Bergolo organizes festivals and cultural events in the music and art fields. The role of the volunteers will be to cooperate and support the organizers of these events to improve them and expand their offer.
Volunteers will also have the chance to propose and take care of the organization of activities managed by them or new cultural events.
Local eco- tourism
The municipality of Bergolo is part of the touristic route La Via del Sale, an ancient road built by the Romans that connects the coast of Luguria to Piedmont and which was used to transport salt.
Now the Salt Road is a touristic route that is covered on foot and by mountain bike. Langhe local area is also an area of Eno-gastronomic interest. The volunteers' task is to promote the local territory as a destination for natural, eco-sustainable, food and wine tourism. They will also be involved in keeping the paths clean and usable, or in other maintenance activities connected with green areas.
In the framework of their learning goals and according to the values and mission of Associazione Vagamondo, each volunteer will be encouraged to carry out their own personal project. They will have the freedom to decide which project to carry out and how to develop it!
Sometimes the volunteers will be involved also in some light and simple manual works like wall painting, wood restoration or creative recycling.
Bergolo, a village of 54 inhabitants, is located on the hills of south Piedmont in the province of Cuneo, northern Italy.
It is a peaceful destination for Nature and outdoor activities lovers. The village doesn’t have any shop, only 1 restaurant and it is the ideal place for diving in nature and disconnecting from busy city-life. Bergolo has a long tradition of music, art and, in general, cultural festivals and since 2018 hosts regularly youth exchanges and trainings organized by different youth organizations.
Cortemilia is the main centre of the local area of Alta Langa with a population of 2300 people. It is located 8 km far from Bergolo.
It is noted for the production of one of the most famous types of hazelnut, the Tonda Gentile di Langa, awarded IGP status. Every August the town celebrates the Sagra della Nocciola (hazelnut fair). In Cortemilia there are bars, pubs, supermarkets, shops, banks, gas stations and public buses to the cities Alba, Asti and Savona.
The Langhe is a hilly area famous for its wines, cheeses, and truffles - particularly the white truffles of Alba. The countryside as it was in the first half of the 20th century features prominently in the writings of Beppe Fenoglio and Cesare Pavese.
On 2014 Langhe area was inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage list for its cultural landscapes, outstanding living testimony to winegrowing and winemaking traditions that stem from a long history
The Bormida valley develops along the course of the Bormida river and connects the Alps to the Apennine mountain range. The Bormida valley connects the regions of Piedmont and Liguria, embracing the provinces of Cuneo, Savona, Asti and Alessandria.