This article has been written by our volunteer Giulia Tagini.

I worked for OCC Greece as a volunteer for 2 months as part of my university studies. 

I am studying alternative pedagogy, and I embarked on this opportunity with the goal of gaining a deeper understanding of the type of teacher I aspire to be. My experiences exceeded my initial expectations!

During my time at OCC, I had the chance to connect with a diverse array of people, listen to their stories, and discuss our shared hopes and fears for the future. This experience allowed me to gain a better understanding of the everyday realities of being a refugee: the journeys they undertake and the challenges of living without certainties whilst awaiting administrative decisions about their futures.

Simultaneously, I witnessed the profound impact of people coming together, whether it was around a simple cup of coffee or engaging in conversations between lessons. What truly astonished me throughout my time at OCC was the realisation that individuals were not only drawn to the organisation for the lessons it offered; they were as equally motivated by the opportunity to connect with others. They sought refuge here to escape the overwhelming loneliness that can persist even in the company of hundreds of other individuals inside the camp. I feel immensely grateful to have played a part in cultivating and fostering this supportive environment.

After spending two months at OCC, I return home with new perspectives and experiences packed away in my metaphorical “backpack of experiences,” along with newfound friendships. Most importantly, I depart with a heightened awareness of how our surroundings and the people we encounter can mold our identities and influence our paths. And, yes, I now know the kind of teacher I aspire to become! 🙂

Our volunteering program is funded by the European Union through European Solidarity Corps.


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