Young people from six different countries supporting the Italian population
Canelle, Rodrigo, Alexandria-Marie… Since August 2017, sixteen young volunteers from the European Solidarity Corps have been busy working on the Cathedral in Norcia, a small Italian town seriously damaged by an earthquake in October 2016. “At the beginning, I thought it would be like a mini-holiday, I soon changed my opinion,” says Rodrigo, who has come from Portugal. “We have really contributed to rebuilding the Cathedral, whilst helping some local residents to solve their problems”.
The desire to show solidarity: a very strong motivation for all of them
Also from Austria, France, Greece, Hungary and Spain, these young people were the first to undertake an assignment for the European Solidarity Corps. The project, named “European Youth for Norcia” and led by the Italian organisation, Kora, aims to rebuild other buildings, but also to organise workshops, open air activities and cultural events for the town’s young people and senior citizens. “For me, solidarity is a question of humanity. It’s normal to join forces to help a particular community that needs it,” explains Canelle, in her English with a French accent.
Putting the European spirit into practice whilst living a very rich personal experience
For many, this chapter in their lives is also an opportunity to live an enriching personal experience. But not only that: “Solidarity is life, it’s civilisation, the future. It’s by cooperating, helping, understanding the people around us that we can prosper, that our societies and the European Union can develop,” insists Loannis, who is Greek. Two other European Solidarity Corps programmes also concern the Italian regions affected by earthquakes. With a total budget of €790,000 granted by the European Union, the three programmes will have recruited 230 young volunteers by 2020.
« Solidarity is a responsibility that everyone of us has. »
Canelle Kraft, France
« Norcia and its inhabitants have been through a lot and the young Europeans showing their solidarity by helping the local population to cope make me proud. »
Tibor Navracsics, European Union Commissioner for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture