Chiara Indelicato is an e-commerce buyer at Stella McCartney in Italy. She went to Peru for a Solidarity Leave to the benefice of Greenox.
What inspired you to get involved as a volunteer?
What pushed me to get involved was probably, at first, curiosity. It was an experience that I had never had before in my life. Also, I felt like I was ready to give back to others after being blessed with opportunities and experiences. When the opportunity showed up, I jumped at it and I am definitely not regretting it
What was your role during your mission?
I was the first volunteer assigned to this project with the Yine community in the middle of the Amazon forest. The main aim of my mission was assisting and guiding a group of women, through their craftsmanship project. I helped them understand the value of their own land ; I taught them how to do basic sewing and gave them new ideas that were easy to carry out. Finally, we created together a brand new way of working that also made them feel empowered and in charge.
What are your best memories of this adventure?
So many! But, probably the whole process of getting to know each other. I tried to blend in with them as much as I could and I tried to become less of the person that was supposed to teach them. Living with them, learning from them and doing things with them was sometimes hard, but it ended up being probably the best experience of my life.
Walking through the forest and tasting fruits and berries that they would pick for me, playing with the kids of the community - who are the most smiley creatures on earth! Visiting their homes and listening to all stories they felt like telling me.
Being a volunteer for two weeks was great: learning about their culture, their land and learning not to be afraid of any of that (including wildlife).
What advice would you give to future volunteers or to people who hesitate to take a solidarity leave?
Give yourself a chance and go!
Other than that I would say be ready to have an open mind, open eyes and open ears. This is going to be a big experience that will require a lot of energy and it will leave you refreshed at the end of it!
You will return home with a new perspective and a great experience, probably a little changed… but definitely for the best!