Ecuador - "Volunteering marks your life because you learn a lot of things": Marie Jenisova

20 August 2018

(ANS - Esmeraldas) - "A great experience" is how Marie Jenisova describes her year of volunteer work at Esmeraldas, a land that, in her own words, has taught her love without limits. Through her daily work with children and young people of different ages, she has understood how their primary need is to be accompanied and listened to, just as Don Bosco did from the beginning of his pastoral activity in Turin.

By Cristian Calderón

Coming from the Czech Republic, her native country, without dynamic skills or the gift of playing the guitar, for example, she gave herself completely by putting into practice the qualities that have always attracted the attention of Don Bosco: joy, enthusiasm, not being afraid to carry out one's own ideas and to always go forward hand in hand with Jesus.

She collaborated in the Department of social assistance of the Salesian Mary Help of Christians Educative Unit (UESMA) and in the parish, giving scholastic support to students, families and groups of young people, and catechesis.

"Volunteering marks your life because you learn a lot of things, discover the qualities you have thanks to the service that is being done for the benefit of others. This is why I encourage you to decide on volunteering and not be afraid to leave for another country," says Marie.

She was nominated for the Esmeraldas community. "I do not remember that moment very well, but I just smiled and I heard the pre-novices shouting for happiness. So I thought it was a marvellous place. And so it was, indeed."

Her father, Jyry, and her mother, Ludmila, are Salesian cooperators. This vocation allowed her to grow in a small town of Újezd ​​u Brna, in a house filled with the figure of Don Bosco. Although she was not born in a country with a Catholic tradition, being a "Salesian" is a quality she feels running through her veins. "Joy, prayer and communion are the teachings I appreciate in moments lived in the family", because it is there that she understood how precious the presence of God in life is.

"Catholics tend to hide and we try to speak only in our narrow circle. I think it is a consequence of the persecution endured during communism," she comments.

On her return she will work for a year with the Salesians in the field of volunteering and communication, where she hopes to "be life and hope" as in Esmeraldas.


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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