“Il Sicomoro” is the Italian translation of the sycamore, which looks like a fig tree and it is very popular in the Middle East: it is very common in the streets in Palestine, where it leaves splashes of colour on those biblical landscapes, apparently very similar to the ones in our Lucania. It has witnessed many chapters of the story of salvation, so that it has become a topos in the language of the Bible. However, sometimes the Sycamore tree turns out as the real protagonist: just like the evangelical episode of Zaccheo, where the Sycamore becomes the linking tool between Zaccheo and Jesus. In fact, the tiny and short Zaccheo ends up into a thick crowd and he climbs the sycamore in order to go over the multitude of people and get in contact with Jesus. With the roots in our land and our territory, we would like to become the right means, which let people make part of a bigger project, creating something capable to “change lives”.
The Social Cooperative Il Sicomoro was born in Matera in 2003 from the planning of Diocesan Caritas and within the Policoro Project. Today, it is active in different municipalities in Basilicata diversifying its interventions in the third sector policies:
- reception of refugees and asylum seekers (project SIPROIMI and MSNARA);
- management of nursing homes;
- job inclusion services for people with disadvantaged backgrounds;
- rehabilitation services and school support for children who suffer from learning disabilities;
- projects for the development of the local territory.
Check out here the Youtube Channel of Il Sicomoro – since they do have various sectors of activities it does speak not only about migration work.
In 2019, when Matera has been named European Capital of Culture, “Il Sicomoro” led one of the projects included in the program of Matera2019. The project, called Silent Academy, deals with migrants and their manual skills, giving them the opportunity to develop the professional skills acquired in their home countries, while exchanging knowledge and good practices with locals. Marked by the slow rhythm of hand movements, typical of the faber, the workshops teach local people traditional skills, such as colourful costumes for artistic performances or installations of woodwork craft, in a display of work and styles showing tangible examples of the connection between local and migrant culture, in a sign of solidarity. During the days of pandemia our artist of Silent Academy with many local volunteers are sewing masks.
In conclusion, the main objective of the cooperative is to have an impact on the society, through concrete projects and actions aiming at inclusion and integration of those who have disadvantaged backgrounds.
The activities of the volunteer can be divided in four chaptors:
- support the staff in the reception of new refugees (learning about the rules and administration to follow, accompany the staff to appointments, helping to translate documents, ect);
- realization of leisure time activities for refugee youth to support their integration in the local community, especially focusing on sport and outdoor activities;
- supporting the families in learning Italian language to enhance integration process (during Italian training but also with extra non-formal learning activities or games)
- plan and realize artistic workshops to support the social interaction between refugees and locals and stimulate the creativity which helps psychological wellbeing;
The activities planned reflect the criteria of the ESC mission, and is based on the principles of non-formal education and intercultural learning.
We search for a MALE volunteer in this moment (not for any discrimination but for balancing the team), who is interested in topics related to migration. He should have a particular interest in spreading the values of inclusion, integration, equality and non-discrimination through movement and outdoor activities. Some other experiences in volunteering or Erasmus+ projects will be a plus. Moreover, the volunteer should speak English at least at intermediate level, the knowledge of other languages will be appreciated. We search for a person who is very independent and has entrepreneurial skills, being able to motivate the migrants to take part in social and sport activities.
Volunteers do life in double rooms, inside a flat shared with other volunteers in Matera. The flats are between 5 and 10 min walking distance from the city center, and between 5 and 15 min to the hosting organization. The apartments are self-managed by the volunteers who life inside (cleaning, shopping, cooking) and everyone needs to follow basic rules.
Every volunteer hosted within ESC program receive on a monthly basis:
- pocket money (5€ per day, about 150 euro)
- food money (155 euro)
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. On 17 October 2014, Matera was declared Italian host of European Capital of Culture for 2019. See on the official website on what happened that year: https://www.matera-basilicata2019.it/it/
Dates: next opportunity will be from January 2022 – for 6 or 9 months
Application: candidates can apply through European Solidarity Corps portal or sending an email – subject Il Sicomoro – with the ESC reference nr., CV and motivation letter to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Applicants from EU ONLY
Deadline: to be updated