Madagascar – "After this experience, you cannot remain the same as you were before": Interview with a Volunteer

23 August 2017

(ANS – Antananarivo)- "The end of this experience is approaching and it is time to make an assessment. For 12 months, I have chosen to make Madagascar my home and it is time for me to ask myself how the journey went." Speaking is Veronica, a civil service volunteer in Madagascar.

In a country that amazes for its scenic beauty, talk to us about the behavior of the local population.

"The enchantment of its natural world is accompanied by the even more precious beauty of the people encountered along the way. Starting with your colleagues, who have had the patience to slow down their pace so I could walk with them; fundamental in making me learn about malagasy culture, as different as it is fascinating.

I also remember the members of the social teams who, in the schools and the Salesian oratories, spend themselves to give children the affection that is often denied in the family; people as humble as they are of extraordinary greatness in conveying the desire to devote their lives to this task, so much is their passion.

Last but not least: Chiara, the companion of my adventures, who contributed to making this journey special; between the many joys and difficulties, we learned to be a family and without her it would not have been the same."

What do you bring home, what benefit for the future?

"A sensation of peace from having felt welcomed, understood and accepted. Gratitude to those who, along my path, embraced my diversity and accompanied me hand-in-hand through their world. Above all, the certainty that when you challenge yourself, and you really commit yourself, you can't remain or continue to be as you were. You listen, you experience limits, you fall, you learn.

Every encounter, every challenge leaves you with a new awareness and a treasure that is up to you to bear and have flourish."

An intense year, then?

"Yes, under many points of view. I've known limits and discovered qualities I only knew in part. I made myself small enough to leave space to others; above all, I experienced how, in life, it's not the walk or journey that counts but the persons you share it with. That light that I have to treasure is all there."


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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