Il giardino di Nunù

The association Centro Social Pet was born in July 2013 in Matera. It is affiliated to the National Educational Sports Centre (recognised by CONI) and its main purpose is to encourage the development of amateur sports activities. This is achieved through the promotion, dissemination and exercise of dog activities with great attention to Dog Assisted Activities (AAA), formerly known as Pet Therapy. The association also organizes experiential workshops, educational projects in schools, seminars, conferences and training courses in the field of dogs in order to promote correct animal, dog and civic education/culture, encouraging the active participation of citizens.

the space

From the love of sport combined with the love of nature, the project “Il giardino di Nunù” (Nunù’s garden) was born in June 2018. It aims to promote growth activities in nature for children aged 3 to 6. This project takes place daily from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m from Monday till Friday at an educational farm in Matera. Il giardino di Nunù offers children the opportunity to carry out workshops in nature, educational zoo-anthropology experiences (zoo-anthropology is a discipline that studies the relationship between human beings and other species), activities with pet therapy dogs and other farm animals, together with play and movement experiences mainly carried out in suitably prepared outdoor environments and in total safety.
The structure of the education offer is based on the seasons, lasting each for three months; we host about 21 children with a ration of 1 educator for 7 kids. The project is aimed at all children, including those with difficulties; in recent years we have looked after children diagnosed with autism, for whom a specialised operator was envisaged.

Check out some daily life on the facebook page of “Il Giardino di Nunù.

In 2020, we welcomed a young entrepreneur from Romania through the European program “Erasmus for young entrepreneurs”. The project lasted 6 months and ended with great satisfaction on our side so as for the young entrepreneur. Despite the total closure of activities during the lockdown period, she was involved in the opening of our website, promotion, through personal and professional training activities, and felt involved in the activities that we managed to carry out despite the restrictions.

The topic of solidarity is part of our association, as it is part of the life of the members involved. Through our activities we pass on the basic elements of solidarity directly and unfiltered to the children who are part of our activities. Welcoming a volunteer from another European country will be a further element of concreteness that we can demonstrate to our children.


The association aims to be a point of reference for those in the community who can find in the various facets of dog lovers, pet therapy and contact with nature rewarding experiences of personal growth and improvement of their quality of life as well as personal, family and social well-being. Thanks to the activities of Giardino di Nunù we have a strong bond with the community of Matera, especially with families with young children, but also through our presence in the educational farm we have managed in the last 3 years to create a strong bond with our members and visitors to the space.

All the association’s activities, from administrative practices, planning to the implementation of the activities themselves are carried out by the three members of the board, supported by various local volunteers.
This three members, involved in the daily life of the association, are called Loredana, Lucia and Rosanna, who are teachers, dog educators, psychotherapist, school psychologist, expert in educational activities in nature and projects on educational farms.

Watch a of Giardino di Nunù video:

The main activities for the volunteer will be:
– daily support of the routine of the kindergarten: welcoming, support in workshops, entertainment activities during free moments, good bye, setting up of the space before and after the workshops;
– planning and implementation of workshops connected to the abilities of the volunteer (painting, music, art, etc etc) -> anything specific you are able to do, tell us!
– setting up of activities connected to the volunteers culture (language workshops, food tasting, music or dance, etc)
– the volunteer will learn about out-door education and the philosophy of “Forest Kindergardens” in Italy so as the management of an Italian NGO;


Matera is a city of about 65.000 inhabitants, in the beautiful southern Region of Basilicata in Italy. It is the capital of the province of Matera. The town just in front of a small canyon carved out by the Gravina. Known as the city of the Sassi, its historical center, famous for the Park of the Rupestrian Churches, which has made Matera considered as World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1993.

Hosting conditions
Volunteers do stay in double rooms, inside a flat shared with other European volunteers in Matera. The flats are between 5 and 10 min walking distance from the city center. The apartments are self-managed by the volunteers who life inside (cleaning, shopping, cooking) and everyone needs to follow basic rules; special rules are applied in the pandemic period such as: no guests, no party, continues cleaning;
Every volunteer hosted within ESC program receives on a monthly basis:
– pocket money (5€ per day, about 150€)
– food money (155€)

Local transport
Since the hosting space of the Masseria San Domenico, where the daily life of the Centre Social Pet happens, is outside of the city, it will be necessary to drive together with the coordinators car to the working space. Means punctuality is very important. Although, if you are very sportive you can ride the bike to arrive there, takes about 30 min.

Next vacancy will be open from 01 March 2022, for 6 or 9 months

Volunteer profile: We are searching for a solar person who loves children and education, who likes to be outside and in contact with nature and animals; a person ready to help wherever needed, with any artistic of sportive competence to share with the staff and the pupils of the kindergarten; languagewise is important that the young volunteer wants to learn Italian and is ready to study, but for the start is enough to have a medium level of English; Age 18 – 30 years

Application process: Deadline: TO BE CONFIRMED register on the EU Youth Portal and apply through the platform; the profile which match the expectation of the hosting NGO will be contacted via e-mail and a first Skype meeting will be agreed; after passed the first round of selection another Skype meeting will be arranged to agree on the final volunteer selection.
Link to apply to the project: To be updated
If you have any question please contact us on: