Voluntary work with children in Belarus (Weißrussland)

“Girotondo and Belarus”

Giuliano dall’Oglio about his experience as a volunteer in Belarus

Servus! Ich heiße Giuliano und ich bin Italiener; ich wohne in Torino und ich studiere Jura. In my life I have participated in several volunteer activities but one had really influenced me, it was in summer 2011.

In August I have participated as animator in an animation camp for children in the village of Malia Avtiuki in Belarus. This camp was organized by an organization called “Comitato Girotondo” which has its headquarter in Gassino, a small town close to Torino.

This organization hosts every year children from Belarus giving them the possibility to get in contact with another reality. The children come from one of the regions (Gomel region) affected by the disaster of Chernobyl and few of them they have also problems coming from that tragedy.

The trip was really crazy because we went by bus from Torino to Malia Avtiuki and during the trip we had a problem with the bus in St. Pölten and we had to stop there for 2 nights.

When we finally arrived in Malia Avtiuki the atmosphere was really nice and the animator’s group was really good. We organized a lot of games with the children, all kind of sports and a lot of amusements to entertain them. Usually the children were from 6 to 13-14 years old and some of them could speak Italian without problems because they have been hosted in Italy several times.

It was really amazing to get in contact with those children who were really fond of us and always wanted to play. We volunteers were hosted in a school and during the evening youngsters came to see what’s going on in the school. Also some children who were hosted in Italy some time ago came and while talking to them I could get an idea of what Belarusian people think about their life, their wishes and their expectations.

Every day we were divided in 2 groups: one group stayed in the school and another group went to a village to do activities for the children. I had the possibility to meet children from Prudok, Birozovka and I went to an orphanage in Kalinkovici and had the possibility to get to know other Belorussian children. The last day we organized a really big game’s contest with the children from all the villages and it was really funny to participate at this event.

It was a human experience that I will never forget in my life. I went there as volunteer but somehow the people that I have met, the kindness, the curiosity around me were worth all of the days when I woke up early in the morning. Staying till 1 o‘ clock singing, talking and discussing with the others was tiring, but amazing.

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