by Tania Russell-Owen | 30th Apr 2019
Over the years, 17 European volunteers have come through the ProMo-Cymru doors through the EVS scheme*. They work at the organisation for up to 12 months to improve their skills, become a valuable member of the team, and help us to grow and evolve. Here’s our chance to introduce the latest.
Daniele Mele, 27, is from Nuoro, Sardinia, a small town full of history and nature, nestled among the mountains at the centre of the island. He has been a part of the ProMo-Cymru team since late 2018, and we thought it was a perfect time to discover more about him and his experience so far.
Daniele has worked in the advertising and communication field since leaving school. Having worked in the environmental field most recently, he has become experienced in graphic design, producing multimedia content, marketing and communication.
What appealed to you about the EVS scheme?
I heard about the scheme a few years ago from a couple of friends who had been EVS volunteers in Spain. A year ago I was looking for work experience abroad and remembered about it.
They offer a lot of opportunities, and you can find projects that fit in with your career expectations. They’re very helpful if you’re working abroad for the first time, taking you through every step so that you’re not alone when making these big changes. You have a tutor that helps you settle into the new country and job.
Why did you choose ProMo-Cymru and Cardiff?
I was looking for a project that matched my skills, and I wanted it to be in the UK so that I could improve my English. ProMo-Cymru offered an opportunity to work in media production and communications, to learn from a professional team and see how they work and develop projects in the third sector. I also knew that they worked in video creation, and this was a new field that I was very interested in and wanted to learn new skills. I was also really fascinated to live in a city like Cardiff. Coming from a little town, the thought of living in a capital city abroad was very exciting.
What do you think of Wales so far?
I hadn’t travelled much outside of Italy before coming here. This was my first time visiting the UK. I honestly didn’t know much about Wales beforehand. When I applied I started to find out more. What I’ve found here has exceeded my expectations. I’ve felt at home since my very first week, and most of the people I’ve met have been happy to help and introduce me to Cardiff and Wales. After being here a few months it’s clear that kindness is a part of the culture here. It reminds me of Sardinia.
I like Cardiff a lot. It’s a city full of life with something to do every day and a lot of international students to make friends with. The nightlife is also full of surprises!
I have visited many places and cities across the country. I like how varied the landscapes are, and how there’s so many amazing natural places to visit, like mountains, forests and beaches. There are also castles, ruins and little towns so every weekend there’s lots to do without having to go too far.
What are the main differences between home and here?
It’s quite funny as I think that Sardinia and Wales have many things in common. We are bilingual (we speak Italian and Sardinian). We have more sheep than people and there aren’t many cities, but there are lots of little towns among mountains and rural areas. The people are also very proud of their national or regional identity and culture too.
But there are also many differences, the weather being the main one. It’s much colder and wetter here in Wales! The landscapes and the architecture are very different too.
The food is very different, not just the type of food but the way it is eaten. It is common for us all to eat together as a family and we go home to eat during our lunch breaks, this is a very important meal in Italy. British people eat dinner very early, and work times tend to be different too. The offices here close earlier than in Italy, perhaps because the lunch break is shorter.
I really like being here, discovering the Welsh and British culture, but if there is one thing that I miss, it’s probably the beauty of Italy. It’s difficult to explain, but there is a beauty and an elegance that belongs to Italy, you can feel it all around you, in all the details. Maybe this is what makes Italy famous and unique across the World.
What do you think you will learn from your experience here?
I’ve been here a few months now and I’ve learnt a lot about video production, how to use the equipment and use new software. This EVS experience will help me improve my professional knowledge and skills even more.
It’s also been very interesting to learn how a team like ProMo-Cymru works, and how I’ve been able to integrate myself and work well in a company outside of my country.
One of my main motivations for coming here, and probably the biggest challenge, was to improve my English. Day by day I feel that I’m improving and I don’t feel that language is a problem any more – it is a part of this journey and one of my most important achievements.
It was important to see how I would feel settling into a new life abroad, in a strange country and all the changes a year would bring. I feel I’ve achieved something important doing this.
What do you hope to do with the time you have left?
In the months I have left I would like to travel more across Wales and the UK, to discover as much as possible about the culture. I want to continue improving my English and take time to think what I want to do after my EVS experience.
And lastly, what are the best things you’ve discovered in Wales so far?
Welshcakes and the pubs! 😀
If you would like to learn more about volunteering or work experience opportunities with ProMo-Cymru, contact us.