We are four volunteers currently working on the PALIMPSEST Project, a research project co-funded by the Interreg V-A Greece-Italy 2014-2020, a program that aims to develop an interactive museum experience in Ioannina, Epirus, Greece. We aim to restore layers of the cities’ past that have been lost or forgotten and, thus, preserve assets of oral cultural heritage and attract high quality tourism, each of us contributing within his/hers respected field of expertise.
We took the initiative of writing this post together because even though our specialties are so different and distinct, we try to collaborate in every possible layer and in every step of this unprecedented journey. We aim to exchange information, points of view and ways of perceiving and conceiving aspects, even argue or disagree on certain matters, but always in the light of mutual respect for the different, as in any team or family. Learning is always a two-way road.
Although we may work as a team, each of us comes from quite different backgrounds with quite different expertise and interests, adding more layers to the already multi-layered “palimpsest” of the current PALIMPSEST team! So we think it is time we introduce ourselves as well as our part in the project’s progress.
Eva and Stella are undergraduate students in the Department of Plastic Arts and Art Sciences, University of Ioannina and their main activities in the projects are related to the Arts and working with the elderly. Matoula is an undergraduate student in the Department of Architecture, University of Ioannina, and her activities within the project focus on working with the elderly as well as the engineering and constructing aspect of the project’s implementation. Last but not least Ilias is a post-graduate student in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Ioannina, and his main scope, along with working with the elderly citizens, is to help with the website, software or related infrastructure development.
Our first month as IVY volunteers has been great! Everyone at Palimpsest is very kind and willing to assist. The whole project is based on the principles of cooperation and collaboration; we always work as part of a team. The host organization and mentors have been very helpful and have welcomed us quite warmly! You never feel unguided or left out, as you are a major part of the whole process and from the first moment you actively take part in it. Everyone tried to make us feel at home and our weekly meetings are always an opportunity to come together, discuss the progress of the project, think, formulate new ideas, correcting old ones, and in general they are an occasion that we are looking forward to attend!
We firmly believe that IVY gives the opportunity to young people throughout Europe to provide a new point of view and a fresh perspective to organizations that for the general public seem close, inaccessible and stiff, and why not to reverse this belief. Also by involving young and engaged Europeans, they are familiarized with Interreg and the many benefits of collaboration among EU internal borders, promoting cooperation across European borders and fostering related values such as solidarity.
Through IVY and the PALIMPSEST Project we have learned what EU does to support local communities, and given the opportunity to volunteer has been a lifetime experience. We are sure that more young volunteers should be informed and participate, as through this unforgettable adventure they will experience what European solidarity means as well as widen their horizons, learn new things, meet new people and further develop their skills. Something that definitely happened to us!
We could write on and on but nothing compares with the live thing! So in conclusion we would like to sincerely thank everyone in the IVY team, the PALIMPSEST team and the European Union in general for giving us the opportunity to be part of this amazing journey, to be part of the European family!
The PALIMPSEST Volunteers Team