You.com welcomes Erica

My name is Erica La Greca and I’m nineteen years old. I just finished High School with a scientific certification, and afterward, I took the decision to take a Gap year time to reflect about my future and especially to make an experience through which I have the possibility to learn new things and new realities, different as mine.

I’ve always had an interest in developing countries and cultures.

I come from Catania, which is a city in Sicily, and, due to the migration phenomenon of people who for several reasons, like for example War and Poverty, is forced to escape from their own countries, I had the chance, thanks to activities organized by my school and with my scout group, to know stories of some of these people that travelled to Europe to change their life condition.

What I realized after having joined in several projects, is the difficulty they often have in integrating themselves in an other kind of society. That’s why I’ve always been wondering how it could actually be for them, how different the place where they come from is, what kind of support they need, and what actually integration is.

Coming to Africa has always been one of my biggest dreams, to be able to realize directly, with my own eyes, how things in the world change and how many differences there are, depending on where you’re born and where you’re used to live.

This is my first time coming in Tanzania and in Africa in general. I know Africa is really big and extended. For sure, things and realities are not the same in the whole continent, but I felt the need, and also the curiosity to make a first step and start being involved directly and finding a way to learn something form another culture.

I think that differences can always be an empowerment for both sides and that’s why I’m really honored to be here, to see and to try to  understand how lots of people use to live.

I made lots of researches to find a way to come here and take part of a volunteering group, and thanks to Tulime onlus, I’m actually here now.

I arrived here a week ago and I’m living here, in casa Tulime, in Pomerini, Kilolo district with other five girls.

We are learning to know each other and that’s really important, especially when you have to work in the same project and to live together in the same house. This is also an empowerment, because, with the share of skills and interests, it’s possible also to improve and to grow.

Stefania is our mentor; She has been living here in Pomerini for some years, and she knows lots of things about the people who lives here and about several important aspects of this place. She is leading us with the activities and she is also helping all of us in knowing lots of cultural aspects of this area.

Having someone leading you in an experience as important and strong as this one could be, is a really fundamental aspect. I’m honored to be here now, and to have someone as competent and aknowledged as her, leading me and my SVE group.

Further more, we are also having swahili lessons, and she is hardly trying to teach us this absolutely new language.

It is quite difficult to learn lots of new words, but it is also really important to be able to comunicate with local inhabitants of Pomerini, to get the social gap off and to find a sort of integration with them.

Recycling is the main topic of this You.com project, that’s why Tulime and our mentor Stefania, do work for us to learn and to discuss about several important problems, like for example Pollution, Environmental issues in Africa and the process of production of lots of products and materials we often find in our daily life. These group-workshops are really interesting in helping all of us in having a global view of real problems who affect the whole world, starting to see things from our own realities.

Cultural activities are also a main point of our project; thats why we already had te chance to learn by some Women, how to make Baagia (fried beans balls), and Vikapu (hand-made baskets). It has been everything really interesting until now.

I do not know if I will ever realize how important experience like this can be, the only thing I know is that, discovering new things is something I’m actually doing right now; And i trust this experience, to personally begin a studying about it at the University, that could help me in getting other knowledges to be able in helping in cooperation and his cultural shares.

Erica