“What is my world?” Was the motto of FASFI’s Day of Sending 2017, held this past Saturday, May 20 in Madrid, where we, the Volunteer Commission, met with the escorts and volunteers who will travel to the Dominican Republic and Bolivia this summer. The day began with a small dynamic of presentation in which we talked about what we like about our world or what is essential in it that we would not be able to perceive, and after a prayer prepared by María Jesús Navarro FI, we had the paper by Álvaro Galera, from Entreculturas and Coordinator of “experiencias Sur en Compañía”. Álvaro, from his experience, told us that we will face pain and poverty, that we will have to learn a lot from those people, from others, from other ways of living, from other cultures, and advised us not to let ourselves fall into prejudice or paternalism. Aware that we are not going to change the world by going there for a month, we were led by him to let international volunteering invite us to ask ourselves why social injustice is taking place, what causes lie behind it; and upon our return home, as it will be an experience of inner turnaround, may it help us to live more coherently with our model and style of living, since we are part of the 20% that shares the responsibility for this system’s being unfair, and at the same time its beneficiaries.
After a break, Almudena and Esther Alegre talked about what volunteering implies and with a dynamic helped us to remember and forget aspects.
They reminded us that Volunteering should be a way of life, not a month in a given year, since injustices are in our day to day living and we do not stop to think about what we can do.
For them volunteering implies unconditional love, personal metamorphosis; we will not be the same as before, and as Alvaro pointed out in his presentation, we ride on a train from which we can no longer get off, interdependence and bidirectionality, always from horizontality, respect, social transformation, ethical intelligence, interculturality and the construction of better lives.
In the afternoon, Marta Martín presented the places where the volunteers will go this summer; as a new feature this year, in August two will go to the Mother Cándida Dispensary, in the neighborhood of La Isla (Santo Domingo) and three will go to the “Escuela Virgen del Carmen ” of Ciénaga in Guachupita, also in Santo Domingo. The rest of the volunteers will go to Buen Retiro (Bolivia) and Valle de Elías Piña (Dominican Republic). In 2017 there will be a total of 27 volunteers. At the moment Raquel Zamora is in Bolivia and Bego Diaz in Venezuela. Both will return in June.
After resolving any doubts they might have, Aurora González FI led the final prayer of the day, and the day ended with the giving of the card and a small symbol to each volunteer of this year and with the reading of the “Prólogo al Voluntariado” [“Prologue to Volunteering”] by Gloria Fuertes.