My name is Mariangela Cardone, I come from Bologna, a beautiful city in north-east Italy.
I am currently carrying out my Civic Service in Vilnius at Tavo Europa, where I am mainly involved in the Project Management branch of the association.
I recently got my MS in Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology at the University of Bologna (November 2022). During this study experience I acquired advanced competences in demo-ethno-anthropological disciplines, in particular related to socio-cultural, religious pluralisms and dynamisms at local and global level and tools and techniques related to ethnographic, quantitative data gatherings and analysis. From September to January 2021 I participated in an Erasmus exchange with the University of Copenhagen, where I had the opportunity to deepen my knowledge on the topics of gender and sexuality, as well as social movements and our digital worlds.
In 2020 I graduated in Anthropology, Cultures and Eastern Religions with a final thesis on the links between the Ontological Turn anthropological theory and the recent cognitive studies related to the 4E Cognition model. Right before the pandemic started, I attended the University of California as an exchange student; there I conducted historic research on social movements as Occupy Wall Street.
While I was conducting my studies I worked firstly as a librarian assistant and as an university tutor, supporting the professors during lessons and in their student relations.
Thanks to the Civic Service I encountered the world of Erasmus+ and discovered my passion for Project Design. Indeed, before my landing in Vilnius with Tavo Europe, I worked with the italian organization Scambieuropei, where I had the chance to learn the basis of Erasmus+ project design, by working on and submitting my own projects. I assisted the implementation of their projects as well, by participating in management, evaluation and monitoring meetings and by taking part, as a facilitator, in Youth Exchanges and Training Courses.
I have a strong belief in the generative power of collaboration between people or entities of different and variegated backgrounds, that’s where new and unexpected things emerge.
I am a supporter of transparent and open communication, bias identification and creation of safe sharing spaces, where not only ideas but emotions as well are listened to.

What does Mariangela have to say about the experience in Lithuania?

Working with Tavo Europa was a great experience overall. I had the chance to participate in their ongoing projects, strengthening an array of skills and acquiring new ones. I appreciated the informal and friendly attitude of the team, the opportunity to work in a flexible and autonomous way and at the same time the good communication between the members, which helped to keep everything together and smoothly functioning. I felt listened to by all the people I interacted with in the organisation, they were always open to receive suggestions and feedback. I also appreciated that they were always caring for our mental and social wellbeing as volunteers in a foreign country, something I think really contributed to the quality of this experience.
I am very grateful for these three months I spent in Lithuania and I am thankful for the opportunities I had to explore the country, its culture and get to know new people. I really hope other volunteers will have this opportunity as it is a great one both for personal and professional growth.