Six of the volunteers who have participated during the summer of 2018 in different international cooperation campaigns tell us about their experience in the Philippines, Ivory Coast, Peru, Congo or Tanzania. Congratulations for your work and thank you very much for sharing your experience!
"The volunteer activities, for me, is a tool that has allowed me to get to know myself a little better as a future professional in the business administration sector: to understand that people are the driving force of organisations and the importance of values such as belonging, love and service".
"The experience I have lived in the Philippines has taught me to appreciate things, to love more, not to judge. So many good things have been passed on to me that the way I see life now is totally different.
I have learned not to be afraid and to love, love a lot. To let yourself go and surprise and give 101% of yourself".
"As for the orphanage experience, sadly, anything I can say is an understatement. For me, who had never had the opportunity to participate in an international project volunteer activities , I was absolutely shocked by everything, from the moment we landed at the international airport in Kinshasa. development Life there has nothing to do with Europe, not only (obviously) at the level of urban planning (traffic management, access to electricity and electricity...), but also in terms of the pace of life and closeness to others. It is incredible to see how an institution such as the Kimbondo Paediatric Hospital, where more than 600 children and young people live, functions. An entire neighbourhood depends on a public hospital, and they welcome with open arms anyone who wants to do their bit. The children jump on you as soon as they see you arrive and, although the project is mainly educational, you can also help them by organising football training sessions (which they love), rugby, film sessions, monitoring their health, accompanying them to the hospital... On final, supporting the local staff in whatever is needed and becoming part of the big family that they themselves make up. It is clear that every financial aid is a good thing and that it is an experience that marks: if, as I said, the welcome from the kids is incredible, the farewell is also very hard after living with them almost 24 hours a day. In my case, I have no doubt that I will repeat".
"My stay in Peru has given me a lot: the country, the people, and volunteer activities in general. I have learned about medicine and nursing (procedures, treatments, diagnoses...) but above all what I have taken away from this volunteer activities has been the way I have dealt with the people. Every person I have met (both patients and colleagues at the clinic, or other people) have given me something and have taught me, willingly or unwillingly, what the culture and life in Peru is like.
Having the opportunity to help others has filled me with personal satisfaction and allowed me to connect with the Peruvian people in a much more intense way than a tourist visiting the country. I have discovered that it is not so difficult to take time out to help others, that it is very worthwhile. I have the feeling that it has brought more to me than to those I have gone to help. You can work non-stop all day and be happy, if you do it for those who need it most.
"I have to thank the Philippines. For having welcomed us so well, for having taught us so much and for having become our best trip. It has had everything: moments of tension, moments of despair (the Filipinos have their own rhythm) but above all we have kept the good things. With the smiles of the children, with the embrace that replaced the lack of affection of a family, with the "Teach me, I want to learn", with the "ATE I want to play what you taught us". We are left with the good people we have met, with the people who are able to help when they see you in difficulties (which have not been few), with those who want their country to evolve. I have been collecting smiles. Sweet, sincere, endearing smiles, but also miserable smiles, from those who want to take advantage of the goodness of others. It's true that you don't have to go very far to realise all these things, but in my case, that's how it has been. The return to the first world, with all the reflections we had made, was striking to me. I wanted to see how volunteer activities had affected my personality. But, as the Filipinos teach us, you have to be patient, I can't wait to get here and change the world: Step by step, always improving.
"I have improved as a person, professionally and spiritually. I have learned to value things more, to know the work of nursing (the interventions, the organisation and function of the hospital), their customs, the African families, their way of seeing life and the language....
This has been a very nice experience, full of positive aspects. It brings satisfaction and happiness, knowing that you have been able to help and give yourself to others.