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Volunteering and Tasks

Fattore J e Progetto Itaca

Volunteering and Tasks

Volunteering and Tasks

Students participating in Factor J on volunteering for Project Itaca.

On May 7- 9, four students from the Istituto superiore Francesco Saverio Nitti in Naples were guests of the Neapolitan Club of the Fondazione Progetto Itaca Patient Association. As with the Rome branch, the Neapolitan team welcomed a motivated group of students from Project Factor J who decided to participate in volunteer activities and in PCTO alongside the association's volunteers and psychiatric patients, guests, and members of the facility [see news: My health, My Right].

Under the guidance of Professor Marina Minestrini, the IIS Nitti in Naples, which has been participating in Factor J with great commitment and passion for several editions, immediately accepted the challenge with enthusiasm, obtaining many more student participations compared to those available, demonstrating great attention and sensitivity towards the topic of mental distress.

Over the three days, four students, selected on the basis of scholastic merit, volunteered at the facility where, together with club members, they participated in manual work and theater workshops, aimed to provide patients with an ordinary rhythm of life and self-assurance, supporting social and other skills to increase their autonomy.

Daniela Russo, a student in Class 3AS at the IIS Nitti in Naples, said: "During this experience, I had the opportunity to meet both the volunteers working in the structure and accompany the kids on their journey, as well as members themselves. I met many people, all with their own character and way of doing things, who were special to say the least.

On the first day, I had the opportunity to visit the headquarters and the vegetable garden managed by the patients. I participated in activities that they call "blackboard," i.e. the assignment of the day's tasks. In particular, together with my companions, I was responsible for washing the floors.

On the second day, I participated in yoga and theatre activities. I learned that you should never be ashamed of yourself, you should never change for others, and that you need to face your fears, your shyness, and all the obstacles that life throws at you. We then read the script of the show together. The play will take place towards the end of June and then, dividing ourselves into groups, we invented a story using cards.

On the third day, we cooked together. Like every morning, we received our tasks at the "blackboard" and then we all headed to the kitchen to prepare lunch. The dish of the day was rice and pumpkin. We washed our hands, put on aprons and the necessary protection, and cut the pumpkin. Afterwards, we also prepared lemon flavoured biscuits since it was the birthday of one of the kids in the club, who, despite caring about his figure and his diet, couldn't resist our biscuits.

There wasn't one activity that I preferred over the others. I liked all of them all and immediately felt part of this family. This experience enriched my cultural and social background. Indeed, I discovered a new reality that I really like and that's why I intend to continue volunteering in this sector."

"One of the most significant moments I experienced was on the last day, when we said goodbye, as we had become friends, explains Giancarlo Cipolletta, a student in Class 3AS at IIS Nitti of Naples “This experience undoubtedly made me grow and mature, as it introduced me to a reality far from mine in which no one is judged or treated differently. I will absolutely continue with volunteering; in fact, my classmates and I asked the organizers whether it would be possible to return to the club sometimes."

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