Nestled in the picturesque landscape near the stunning Amalfi Coast in Southern Italy, the commune of Tramonti stands as a beacon of community spirit and cultural exchange through The “Make It Green” Volunteers that visit it every year.
In recent years, the locals of Tramonti have noticed an array of volunteer activities in their commune, including candle and bread-making workshops, clean-up initiatives, and collaborative mural and other painting projects. These endeavors not only beautify the town but also provide a platform for short-term volunteers from around the world to connect and make a positive impact.
Environmental Awareness and Ecological Impact
As volunteers from nine different countries came together to contribute to the community of Tramonti, the topic of environmental consciousness naturally wove its way into our interactions, one of the most enlightening aspects of these discussions was exploring the concept of ecological footprints and handprints. Volunteers, hailing from different parts of the world, brought with them unique perspectives on how human activities impact the environment. We delved into the idea of ecological footprints – the measure of our individual impact on the planet in terms of resource consumption and carbon emissions. These conversations prompted deep reflection on our choices and the ways in which we could minimize our negative impact.
Equally inspiring was the concept of ecological handprints – the positive actions we take to counterbalance our footprints.
A Living Example of Sustainable Practices
“Make It Green” volunteers provided a living example of these concepts through their community clean-up initiatives, emphasis on local and sustainable products, and dedication to preserving cultural traditions. Each action we took during this project was a tangible handprint on the environment, demonstrating that every effort, no matter how small, contributes to the larger goal of sustainability. Volunteering in Tramonti wasn’t just about completing tasks; it was about sharing knowledge, challenging assumptions, and envisioning a future where sustainability was at the forefront of our actions.
As “Make it Green” volunteers painted murals in the kindergarten, painted fences for the school and engaged in creative workshops and cleaned the streets and its stunning surrounding nature, they subtly integrated messages about environmental responsibility, hoping to inspire both residents and visitors to consider their impact on the planet.
Cultural Exchange Beyond Workshops
Cultural exchange wasn’t confined to workshops alone. The town’s medieval parade was a vivid embodiment of this synergy. Volunteers from different corners of the world donned medieval attire and paraded through Tramonti’s historic streets. In doing so, we celebrated not only the heritage of Tramonti but also the rich diversity within our group. This cultural tapestry continued to be woven during the lively wine festival, where volunteers impressed the locals not only with their hardworking attitudes but also their genuine care for Tramonti’s community. These festivals were not just local events; they served as global celebrations of camaraderie and connection. “Make It Green” was a testament to the profound bonds that can be formed through volunteering. It was a realization that the impact of our efforts extended far beyond the tasks accomplished.
As a long term Volunteer for Erasmus+, my experience was a little different compared to other “Make it Green” participants.
During the duration of the project I along with other long term volunteers and interns felt responsible for the wellbeing and happiness (about the project) of 14 young adults that would spend 6 weeks with us here in Tramonti.
This is why I think this project more than anything I have experienced before has taught me about community living and how important it is to share, be empathetic and patient with others as well as yourself. as they say, practice makes perfect.
I got to plan activities with other long term participants and also got to lead some of the activities myself and this new found role in leadership really helped me grow as a person and made me more confident in my social skills as well as the new found skills that my volunteering at ACARBIO was already helping me nurture.
Workshops done by our coordinator and other volunteers also broadened my perspective about lots of other topics, starting with subjects like climate change, waste management etc.
To me “Make it Green” was a celebration of community, culture, and connection. It was a realization that true impact goes beyond the immediate and extends into the realms of shared experiences and understanding. Through community living and cultural exchange, Tramonti and its people taught us that volunteering isn’t just about giving; it’s about receiving the invaluable gift of insight, empathy, and human connection. As we will look back on those moments, we will be reminded that the beauty of volunteering lies not only in the tasks accomplished but in the bonds forged and the stories interwoven.
written by: Nino Kaulashvili