Leonardo at work in Spain

30.04.2008

A successful collaboration between EURES and ‘the Leonardo da Vinci’ project boosted a young Italian graduate with his heart set on a career in the humanitarian sector on his way.
When 28-year-old Silvio Fugazza entered the EURES office in his hometown of Pavia, Italy for the first time, he had no idea of the impact it would have on his life. As a fresh Law graduate, Silvio had started to think seriously about his future. Although he didn’t dislike his studies and was a good student, he realised that Law wasn’t for him. Instead, he decided to follow his real passion: working in the humanitarian sphere.
 
After speaking to Aurora Scalora, the EURES adviser in Pavia, about his real ambitions, Silvio decided that an EU ‘Leonardo da Vinci’ project focusing on international cooperation could be exactly what he was after. Aurora put Silvio in direct contact with the project organiser, who provided him with further details, including the all-important list of possible destinations. Silvio set his heart on Spain, a country that had always appealed to him, even though he had only limited knowledge of it. Before his departure, Silvio had a few days training, then set off for Seville without looking back.
 
As soon as he arrived, the ‘Leonardo da Vinci’ organisers, as well as the Seville EURES adviser, presented him with the various job posting possibilities. An internship with ADIMA (the Andalusian Association for Childhood Defence and Children Abuse Prevention), which cooperates with the hospital Virgen del Rocìo, immediately grabbed his attention. Thanks to this, Silvio had the opportunity of working in direct contact with children in hospitals, and managed to bring them a bit of much-needed relief by performing as a magician. His efforts were very successful: children loved his magic tricks and were always asking for more. “It’s the greatest experience I’ve done so far!” Silvio tells us. “An entire book wouldn’t be enough to describe the wonderful feelings I had while I was working in the hospital. I was finally helping people and I owe it all to EURES and the ‘Leonardo da Vinci’ project.’
 
Silvio took Spanish classes every day during the first month of his stay and was able to learn the language very quickly, thanks to his daily interaction with children. The ‘Leonardo da Vinci’ project provided him with a flat in Triana, a very lively neighbourhood in the heart of Seville, where Silvio made many friends and even took up dance classes.
 
It’s no overstatement to say that his five-month experience in Seville changed Silvio’s life. Once he returned to Italy, the young man decided to apply to a Master’s programme in International Cooperation and Development at the prestigious Cattolica University in Milan. “I have to thank EURES, and Mrs. Scalora in particular, for helping me to do something concrete with the many ideas I had in my mind”, says Silvio enthusiastically. “I want to continue working with needy children and envisage heading back to EURES for further work possibilities abroad as soon as I can.”
 
For more information about the Leonardo da Vinci scheme, see http://ec.europa.eu/education/programmes/llp/national_en.html 

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