Francesca Consogno, genovai önkéntesünk, 5 hónapot töltött Budapesten az Artemisszió Alapítványnál februártól júliusig. Ezalatt a Pesterzsébeti projektünkben segített, ahol hátrányos helyzetű roma fiatalokkal foglalkozott a Pince Klub közösségi terében. Alábbi cikkében mesél tapasztalatairól, a nehézségekről amikkel szembesült, és az élményekről, amikkel gazdagodott, és hogy hogyan változott meg minden körülötte és benne, ez alatt nagyon sűrű öt hónap alatt, amikor egyszercsak Genovából Pesterzsébeten találta magát.
I decided to leave to Hungary in January and in a few days, I was on plane for Budapest. I did not have any idea about the city, the country, the project and also about the languages (English and Hungarian). For me, was really an adventure, a very good adventure.
I remember the first days at work, when it was impossible for me to understand anything, surrounded by a lot of excited teenagers speaking only Hungarian I thought: “Ok, I can not survive, it's impossible to create a relationship with them, if we don't speak the same language”.
But, day by day, something started to change, in me and also in them. All the things that in the beginning I thought were difficult, became natural, and was normal for me to go to work, talk with them, joke and enjoy the day.
I do not know how this was possible, we created our language, a special language and, I think, no one could understand it, not because it was secret, but because we created this together, every each single day in Pince we started to share something, we began to be in contact with each other.
It was a hard work, building it every day, in five months; and only in the last period I started to understand them, their feeling and their personality.
This was my first experience working with children and teenagers, I always thought not to able to do this kind of job, I was scared, because for work with youngster you have to be funny but also is important put some rules, you can not be like a friend, and sometimes was hard, for me, to divide this two different floors.
I think, for me, was good to have the language problem, because it was a help to be more natural with them, you can not do anything if do not understand when they talk, and so, since the beginning, I was really me, without anxiety to be better.
For my future job, this was really a good experience, I worked with people from different background, Hungarian and Roma. I arrived being sure to discover the real “gipsy culture” but I found a group of disadvantage guys, who fight everyday to be accept from the State and from the people in the street, they are living in the eternal contradiction to be teenagers but living like adults, it was really sad to discover with how many problem they have to fight, but they do not lose the ability to laugh and joke, but yes, they lost the ability to imagine a different future for them.
Happened that we talk about our future plans, about come in Italy to visit me, but every time I received the same answer: “I will never have the money to do this”, “I will never have the opportunity to change my life” and a lot of time I felt myself guilty, because I have these kind of opportunities, I can study in the university and I can leave my home for months only because I want to reach my dreams. And in them I found the force to resist, also in the difficult moment. Only for them.
This is the first time that I try to reflect about my experience in Budapest, and is not easy. The first reason, is because I am writing in English, and this is not my mother tongue, the second reason, is because I had a lot of good time, and is hard resume everything in one page.