Friday, July 4, 2014

Favio’s Reflection

Once, Edel said something very important about “Cooperantes”: "We are like a Bridge". I've definitely felt my work as a volunteer on that way for the past twelve months in ICS.

My job consisted on logistical and language support, but this task is actually more than that. Coordination, implementation and evaluation of projects were undoubtedly the main basis of my work.

Undoubtedly, coordinate ideas to turn them into concrete plans, was one of the most important challenges because that depended on the actions in our work placement, the childcare centers of “Aldeas Infanti les SOS”. I want to highlight the conciliatory, empathetic, proactive and positive spirit that was always on my team. This is why we achieved our goals, which can be summarized in the sustainable empowerment of values, knowledge and awareness of issues such as sexual health for parents, the interdisciplinary education for children and recently the financial education for parents.

Implementation was probably the most fun part of the job as a cooperante in my project, because you would enjoy the time with the beautiful children and in that way you would fulfill yourself with those noble feelings that they still possess. Also, it was a very rewarding time because you could meet the parents of the little ones, and thus realize a better idea of the reality of these families, their links. Implementation was also the part where you could use your abilities, skills, knowledge, talents ... And after all the effort, the delicious center’s food, shared by all, boys, girls, educators, volunteers and the cooperante. Yes!

The evaluation has always been a working stage where reflection was the fundamental base. Along with my two Team Leaders, we were able to evaluate in great detail aspects such as the objectives, scopes, methodologies, implementation of our plans. Also, we evaluated aspects of each team, with close personal attention. In that sense, as a cooperante I was always consulted about my relationship with volunteers, my cooperante colleagues, our partner and also my project manager.

Taking care of my volunteers, both in their health and mood, was also another challenge but it was a work that gave me many joys. To watch a sick volunteer healing is always comforting and to see him/her grow emotionally is very rewarding.

As a final part of my job, to empower my team leader was a very challenging task. To see how my two team leaders grew in their leadership was spectacular.

Inti and I recently reflected on how transcendental being a cooperante was, because it is like a preparation for life itself. We said that cooperation is simply what everyone should do every day to change oneself a little bit and so perhaps, also change the world. Also, welcoming and saying good-bye to people is also part of life. One day you come and one day you leave. That time has come and I cannot believe the joy that dwells in me, even in the very precise moment that I leave the office to get on with life.

Written by Favio Jaramillo
Edited by Desirée Benson

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