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Stories from the field

Francesca in Lebanon

About the Project
The general objective of this project is to strengthen the resilience and response capacity of vulnerable and disaster affected communities through the deployment of EU Aid Volunteers in and through capacity building activities.

I have a Bachelor's Degree in Anthropology and a Master’s Degree in Political Sciences and I have worked as an educator and project manager on other projects, even abroad.

I have had various experiences abroad: I lived in Kenya for a month where I volunteered in a facility for vulnerable children, I lived in Spain for two years working both as an educator and as a project manager for a small association and I lived in Brazil for a year working in an institute as an educator, and now I am here in Lebanon.

I decided to take part in the Eu Aid Volunteers programme because I believe it provides an excellent opportunity to gain experience in the cooperation sector, especially as project manager, which is what I would like to do for a living.

My expectations from this experience are to learn how to be a project manager. I am currently managing a project by myself, therefore my objective is to see it through to the end in the best way possible, while learning from colleagues with more experience and of course learning more about this country and this reality.

For me, the best part of being a volunteer is the fact that it is a very concrete programme, in the sense that it truly trains professionals in this sector. What is more, it also offers extra activities such as capacity building or some small projects like the one I am working on and which entails the distribution of hygiene kits to various communities and the provision of information on preventive measures against Covid.

The aspect I like the most is that I can finally be a project manager, i.e. I can have contacts with all departments, see how they all work, watch the dynamics, snoop around. This is what I like the most, being in charge of a project.

It is not easy to describe what I felt when I visited the ITS because it is something I would never have expected. I basically visited some camps where people live in conditions I never thought possible for human beings. They are completely ignored by the institutions and the Lebanese government, it is as if they were ghosts in a limbo, trapped between Syria and Lebanon without the possibility of going forwards or backwards.

I would definitely recommend this experience to other people - take part in the Eu Aid Volunteers Programme, go abroad and live in countries you would never have expected to. It enriches you, it is an experience that makes you grow as a person, it makes you discover inner resources you did not even know you had.