Yes, Cecilia brings expertise, dedication, and amazing teamwork to LHI, but the greatest thing she brings to all who work and associate with her is JOY. Her versatile and diplomatic personality make her an ideal member of any team in any program. We are so lucky that — as the current volunteer coordinator — Cecilia’s is the voice that our incoming volunteers hear! Thank you for months of amazing work and for making everyone feel welcome and loved.
1. Tell us a little about yourself:
My name is Cecilia Sanfelici, I’m 22 and I come from Italy. I graduated from a bachelor’s degree in International Relations, and I am currently on my gap year before starting a master’s in Human Rights and Humanitarian Action. My life and career goal is to work in NGOs or international organizations which provide support to refugees on the ground. I previously volunteered with refugees in a small border town in Italy.
2. What is your role at LHI?
I have been volunteering in the Female Friendly Space since October, but as of the December I am the Volunteer Coordinator for LHI.
3. How and why did you find out about LHI?
After graduating, I felt the need of getting more practically involved in the terrible situation that refugees face after their arrival in Europe, and as soon as I found out about LHI through a friend, I knew that this was the place to be for me.
4. What is a typical day of volunteering at LHI's Refugee Center like for you?
My schedule has been changing quite a lot. Until December, I used to spend my mornings in the warehouse and the afternoons at our community centre, in the Female Friendly Space. Since I became the Volunteer Coordinator, I work from home in the mornings, but I still spend every afternoon at the field, working with the women and the girls.
5. What has been your most rewarding experience working at LHI’s refugee center in Greece?
There are two most rewarding things about this job. Firstly, all the simple and happy moments spent with the residents: realizing that I am making my part in creating a safe space where people can learn, laugh, play, dance, and confide in me, is extremely important to me. Secondly, seeing that the projects of LHI on the ground are growing and evolving gives a lot of hope, and makes me understand that I have done my part in allowing some refugees to get more and more services and support.
6. What have you learned since volunteering with LHI in Serres? Has your perspective on anything changed?
Working with LHI in Serres has taught me what I think is the real nature of volunteering: helping people and helping myself at the same time. Helping myself to change and grow into the person that I want to become. Yazidis are an incredibly strong and wonderful population for so many different reasons. I admire their strength, their resilience and their ability to smile and find something positive even when everything in their life is dark. Working in close contact with them for such a long time made me realize that I want this not only for myself, but for everyone.