“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.”