Potpourri – Grundtvig Assistant in Sicily

Potpourri: Follow me in Sicily

Anamaria Cătănoiu – Grundtvig Assistant

5 months and 2 weeks in Sicily

Potpourri will be in Messina!

Even I am surprised by all the joy that God brought me these last two years. I was not expecting to get the grant for Grundtvig Assistantship. This is the 5th Grundtvig mobility, respectively the 4th Grundtvig grant that I obtain since autumn 2011. I applied for it under Potpourri Association, where I am the president.

  1. The first mobility, supported by the Sicilian organizers, was Grundtvig Volunteering Workshop from Sicily, Messina, where I’ve been for one week in October 2011.
  2. The second mobility, which was the first one with the Grundtvig grant, was the two-day Contact Seminar, in Santiago de Compostella, Spain, held in November 2011, where I could not be able to go, due to health problems. The purpose of the seminar was to find international partners for projects.
  3. The second grant was the Individual Training Course on Business and Professional Communication Skills, in St. Julian’s, Malta, for one week, in April 2012.
  4.  The third grant was the Individual Training Course, in Las Otras Orillas (The Other Shores), held in Sevilla, Spain, for 10 days, in November – December 2012.
  5. The fourth grant is the Grundtvig Assistantship, again in Sicily, Messina, at the volunteering centre CESV (Centro Servizi per il Volontariato). The grant is for 5 months and two weeks, between 28th of February – 2nd of August 2013.

… and I am the first Vrancea citizen to obtain it.

Now, to make a short statistic parenthesis, Grundtvig assistantship financing started in 2009:

– in 2009 there were 5 candidates throughout the country and only 1 winner ;

– in 2010, there were 9 candidates and 3 winners ;

– in 2011, there were 15 candidates and 3 winners;

in 2012, there were 24 candidates and 4 winners, including me.

Not to mention the fact that in November 2011, I had the chance to be nominated among the 10 finalists, and to participate at the Education Awards – Librarian of the Year Section, organized by Dinu Patriciu Foundation.

It’s a cavalcade of joy, personal and professional fulfillment, all thanks only to God; I would humbly say that this is a lot for a small human in such a short time…  

The research made and the application process

Grundtvig Assistantship application can be found on the National Agency’s website: http://www.llp-ro.ro. It is one of the six mobilities, as they are named in Grundtvig activity section.

This grant is aimed for searching an organization that accepts you for a period between 13 – 45 weeks. The idea is to work with them, to observe their daily activity, create projects, and learn how to work in other European organization.

My chance was the fact that I kept in touch with the organization from Messina and I collaborated with them to activities through Skype and some blogs. They asked me, and I accepted, and so it was not necessary anymore to search for other organizations.

They sent me their working agenda with the activities and duties that I will have to meet during those 5 months and 2 weeks. Without a letter from them, I couldn’t apply for the grant, because in this way I can demonstrate that the application is real and that the activity is for training purposes.

I re-applied for the grant (assistantship grant) to the National Agency for Community Programmes in Professional Training and Education. I sent the application in March 2012 and later on, I found that I won the application.

Now I am in the midst of preparations: airplane, accommodation, healthcare card, luggage, the final contract signed with the Agency to send me the grant, etc… I need to be in time with all of them because I will be there for almost…half a year.

Anyway, Ana Potpourri will broadcast live from Messina, the aspects of Sicilian life and the projects I will work with. There is also a Romanian community, and I already met some of them. We will collaborate for sure, because they have ongoing volunteering projects with Romania, and I think I can fit it as well…J

Thus, my dear all… follow me in Sicily because there will be bedtime stories, meaning international tales that you will read in the next 22 weeks on Potpourri Association website www.potpourri.ro, where you will get to learn something (at least I will…)

!!!! Here is a great guide for Sicily and Italy:  http://www.italyguides.it/us/sicily_italy/sicily_italy.htm

and here : http://www.messinatourismbureau.com

    Translation made by Oana Zlatovici – Potpourri member studying in Sweden