January 2015

“What have I accomplished here?”: the testimony of Alice, a volunteer in Jerusalem

The Civilian Service experience for six young Italians, employed in various manners in the projects of Association pro Terra Sancta, thanks to an agreement with the University of Bari, it is over. The young people have put to good use their skills and knowledge, but above all they have learnt a lot. This is the story of Alice, who has been working in the Technical Office of the Custody of the Holy Land as part of the project “Jerusalem Stones of Memory”:

“For me the experience of Civilian Service is my first work experience after university and, since I have a degree in Architecture, I have been working in the Technical Office of the Custody of the Holy Land.

Now, a number of months after starting, I realize how significant an experience this has been for me: I have had the opportunity to learn many things, to increase my store of knowledge and to be confront issues that had never been raised during my studies. It was very challenging right from the start, since due to cultural, environmental and linguistic factors difficulties were never lacking, for after all this is a completely different world in even the smallest aspect from that to which I had always been accustomed in Italy. Working and living with people who, on account of the factors just mentioned, had nothing in common with me (apart from faith, in some cases) forced me to ask myself what the real value of my work had been: what have I accomplished here, first in terms of myself and then for the others?

I have also had the good fortune to meet supportive people to accompany me on this journey, an indispensable element since in such a complicated and chaotic context it is all too easy for one to get lost.

I can safely say that the year I spent in Jerusalem has made a significant contribution to me as a person, both from a professional point of view and, above all, from the human point of view.”

share facebook twitter google pinterest print send
related stories

New volunteers at Association pro Terra Sancta meet the Custos: “Thank you for your availability” (October 2015)

Supporting the Christian presence in the Old City of Jerusalem: a building restored (April 2015)

Video: Life in the Old City of Jerusalem (April 2015)

Cecilia and the Civil Service at Jerusalem: “This is a place that never ceases to test you” (December 2014)

Inauguration of the new Monastery of St. Francis ad Coenaculum (October 2014)

New work for the team of workers in the Old City of Jerusalem: the mission of the Custody of the Holy Land is renewed as a sign of continuity (September 2014)

Our House in Jerusalem and Bethlehem (July 2014)

Four new apartments have been finished for the Arab Christian community in Jerusalem: The Living Stones of Memory (June 2014)

“I want to live here where Jesus lived: the Christian voices of the Old City of Jerusalem (June 2014)

A new look for the Church chancel and vestry at Bethphage Sanctuary (May 2014)

St John’s Sanctuary in Ain Karen: work to build a new welcome room for pilgrims (April 2014)

Claudia Koll supports ATS pro Terra Sancta with the Living Stones of Jerusalem project (January 2014)

“In Bethlehem, like everywhere in the world, Jesus is the face of the suffering” – Nicoletta’s experience with the elderly in Bethlehem (January 2014)

The story of Peter and Farida: helping a family means helping the small Christian community in Jerusalem (October 2013)

A month in the Old City of Jerusalem helping Christian families: “a unique experience” (August 2013)

The project “Housing and Social Emergency in the Old City of Jerusalem” comes to an end: here are the results (July 2013)

The workers on the project “Jerusalem, Stones of Memory” in action in Nazareth (July 2013)

“Jerusalem, Stones of Memory” and Feras’ story (April 2013)

Holy Sepulchre: Extraordinary maintenance work at the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament (March 2013)

A little present from Marseilles for the families at the Christian quarter in Jerusalem (February 2013)