“It’s a wonderful experience,” says Sofia, 17. Mrs Olga, 83 years old: “For me it’s a medicine”
If the 2022 edition of the Salone del Gusto is working so well, part of the credit certainly goes to the volunteers, ready to make time and skills available without asking for anything in return. And the Turinese, in this sense, want to do. Just call them and they go under. The pandemic breaks out and hundreds of citizens come to help, or the ATP Finals begin and 100 young people enlist to welcome visitors. And the same is repeated for cleaning initiatives, from rivers to squares. It is therefore not surprising that for «Terra Madre», in a few days, more than a thousand applications, from 18-year-olds to pensioners, arrived at Slow Food. «An incredible number – he comments Michele Calleri, coordinator – we posted a notice on our site and were inundated with questions. So much so that unfortunately we were forced to make a screening, selecting 400 of them. We relied on the knowledge of languages, which is essential for such an event ».
The volunteer army is mainly based on students (270) which come mainly from three schools: the Gioberti high school (130, the first Slow Food school community in Italy), the Colombatto institute (100) and the Mazzarello high school (40). And in exchange for their time, the volunteers simply receive one meal per shift, plus the event bib. Their activity, on the other hand, is divided into 4 cases: reception, information, translation and support. In fact, wherever there is interaction between delegates and the public, there are at least 2-3 volunteers. It starts from accreditation and luggage storage, up to the help desk and linguistic support in all the stands. «It is a wonderful experience – says Sofia, 17, a volunteer – I am meeting people from all over the world, from Germany to the Amazon, an incredible multiculturalism. And then I’m enrolled in the linguistic high school, so practicing like this is perfect. I also learned a little Portuguese ». But not all volunteers are novice. «For me it is a medicine – explains Olga Ottone, 83, retired – it keeps me active and perky. I’ve been a volunteer for this event since 2004, when she was still a niche. That year the former Prince of Wales, Charles III, the current king of the United Kingdom, came to Turin. He was exciting “(in this sense, today’s meeting at the Castello di Rivoli between Edward Mukiibi, president of Slow Food and the artist Otobong Nkanga, is worth mentioning). In fact, Mrs. Olga is the hen of young people: «I always apply – she admits laughing – by now I am a professional volunteer. I did Myth, Turin Spirituality, sometimes I also apply to Milan ». A passion that also derives from her old profession: «I will always carry the 1960 Rome Olympics in my heart, I was an interpreter of Coni. There were no social networks or spotlights, you hugged the athletes and ate us together ». Another volunteer student, on the other hand, is Marco Enrietti, 18, from Gioberti: «Participating in this event is the culmination of a journey that began at school. During the year, Slow Food experts came to explain their values and initiatives, which I share. And in fact there is my whole class. It’s a way to test yourself and get closer to the world of work ».
The Corriere Torino newsletter
If you want to stay updated on news from Turin and Piedmont, subscribe for free to the Corriere Torino newsletter. It arrives every day straight to your inbox at 7am. That’s enough click here
September 23, 2022 (change September 23, 2022 | 19:35)
© REPRODUCTION RESERVED