«Less than a week ago, together with my colleague Maria, we were in the beautiful office of our partners of Genderhood  in the centre of Athens. Now, back to the busy life of Madrid, it seems important to take a moment to collect some reflections and share what the VOLUMEN project (VOLUnteering for inclusive DevelopMENt) has offered me so far.

Arriving at SCI Madrid with my background in gender, international relations and development, from the very first moment I felt very grateful for the opportunity to put my efforts at the service of such an urgent and necessary project as VOLUMEN, whose main objective is to implement gender mainstreaming in all volunteer activities. 

Even more relevant is to be able to develop this work in favour of equality by relying on those global links that intertwine the actors who advocate for fairer and more egalitarian societies. In fact, being inserted in a project that is carried out thanks to the cooperation between Spain and Greece has been extremely enriching, as it has taught me and continues to teach me different strategies and perspectives to approach the work on gender and sexual equality.

For example, as part of the implementation of VOLUMEN activities, we delivered community workshops on issues related to gender, equality, diversity and inclusivity. Based on the non-formal education-based modules developed by Genderhood, we conducted sessions adapted to the specific challenges of the Spanish volunteering context. The workshops were successful not only thanks to our work as facilitators, but also thanks to the energies of a formidable group of volunteers, whose participation was constant and proactive. Each session resulted in a mutual learning opportunity and an exchange of ideas, highlighting the need for feminism and activism to work for intersectional causes and struggles.

Later, during our trip to Greece, we had the opportunity to work hand in hand with Sofia and Lamprini, our Genderhood partners. In the days we shared, constructive discussions flourished. Furthermore, we shared our experiences and good practices regarding the implementation of the workshops, developed tools to disseminate them and, finally, prepared the last phase of the project, which will close in December this year. At the same time, we were able to establish an even closer and more efficient cooperation dynamic between the organisations, which will allow us to face the challenges of a project of this kind. Finally, this trip was the perfect chance to get closer to and enjoy Greek culture.

Back in Madrid, our work for the VOLUMEN project does not stop, as a new stage full of stimulating and innovative initiatives is coming. Therefore, I invite you to follow us on our social networks so you don’t miss anything.»

Maddalena Pontiggia – Communication & ESC Officer SCI Madrid