Jul

26

2010

My volunteer experience


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I'm Brazilian and worked for many years "in the field" with communities in slums and shantytowns. I'm a socio-environmental psychologist and came to Barcelona to do my doctoral degree in this area. After two years of studying impressive theories with surprising teachers and great classmates, I felt like I was missing something... I needed more hands-on! I missed working in the field.

I decided to look for an NGO so I could dedicate some of my free time to a cause I believe in and which is related with my background, and to be able to share experiences. I sought out an NGO which contemplates long-term sustainability and seeks to provoke active community participation in this process. Intervida and I found each other and I'm very happy. A large part of Intervida's volunteer actions are dedicated to acting locally in Catalan schools to inform children information about values and human rights while offering them a look at how the "other part of the world" lives or survives.

When I participate in the workshops, the most interesting thing for me is to be able to give a specific example of someone who "comes from the South". This brings us closer, makes us more equal and reduces prejudices.  After a day full of new experiences, I go home with a sense of having planted a small seed in the kids' hearts.

Personally, being an Intervida volunteer motivates me to keep studying and inspires me to think about problems which I may not otherwise have considered; it also gives me the security of knowing that there are people out there who are working to create a better and more just world.