Wednesday, February 10, 2016

New challenges become new life experiences

 “The most enriching life experiences begin with the adventure of facing new challenges to achieve a common objective”

The challenge I´m facing actually, began with a phone call asking me to be present the next day at an interview to become a volunteer from International Service. When I arrived into the office I was very nervous and anxious, I kept wondering so many things and I really didn’t know what to expect. As minutes went by I began feeling more and more nervous, I thought the interview was going to be personal but I realized as people kept on arriving that thing where going to be different. We had a group interview, so very different from all the interviews I´ve ever been to. In this interview they assessed us, we did an activity to get to know each other better, and finally, they gave us a small test. When finishing, they told us they were going to call us if we got selected, to become part of the volunteering team for the following 12 weeks. I was lucky enough to get the phone call, where they told me I was going to be part of this huge project, and from then on, my adventure as a volunteer began.

I´ve been lucky enough to be a volunteer since I´m 20 years old and every day I get more convinced that I want to do it as long as life lets me. The ICS programme has different projects such as: Youth and Child Empowerment, Cultural Integration and Women Empowerment. At the present time I´m part of the “Volunteering and Participation for Inclusion” project, which includes topics I´m very interested in. I´m sure I will gain personal and professional experience out of it.

I feel happy to be part of this inclusion Project, because just in around two weeks of working in the ICS programme I´m learning so much about people with disabilities, from learning how to use the proper words giving them the respect they deserve, to learning about the different situations they have to deal with daily; at the same time I´m getting to know marvellous people, that as me are committed to bring about and generate a positive change in society.

In this Project we deal with very sensitive topics that often enough people don´t even pay attention to, don´t think it´s a big deal or just are not respectful about it. We find ourselves merged in a society that sadly is not aware about life conditions and different life difficulties thousands of people with disabilities have to deal with throughout their life. That is the breaking point were our commitment as young volunteers begin. Gathering our strengths and working together to achieve sustainability and funding for a project that gives works for the improvement of life conditions for this community and, this way, contributing to new ways of thinking of the overall society, promoting in every one the will to work for an inclusive society, more empathetic, more just and above all more committed to work for everyone´s rights to be respected.

While a share a bit of my experience with ICS and taking on this huge challenge as a human being, I would like to motivate everyone who reads this to become change agents, to get committed to all vulnerable groups of our country and to participate and develop sustainable projects that will allow the improvement of life conditions for so many. Let´s not forget we are young and we are the ones in charge of revolutionizing this world giving our knowledge, energy, creativity and commitment as citizens of the world.

Finally, don´t forget that the biggest reward of volunteering is found in small results that Little by Little generate big change if things are done with love, commitment, willingness and dedication. Thanks ICS for giving me this chance and enriching my soul with only two weeks of activities. I´m ready and anxious to keep on working with the best attitude during this ten week that are left.

Blog by: Lucia Pantoja Obando

Translated by: Emma Nowotny Villegas

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