Argentina – Joy of giving (and giving oneself) more and better

07 December 2020

(ANS - Formosa) - "In the beginning, there was shame and mistrust. They asked me: 'What are you a teacher of?', and I felt like answering: 'Whatever you have to do.'" Thus speaks Ivan Peñalva, a 25-year-old law student, and for three years a member of the "Proyecto Universitario Misionero" (PUM) group, initiated by the Salesian Youth Movement of the Córdoba Province. He recently started a new volunteer service and what follows is his story of commitment and donation to children in need.

A few months ago we received the proposal to attend the “Don Bosco House” in Formosa. There the children have breakfast, do their homework and catch up with their lessons. It is a pleasant and joyful educational environment where, in addition to studying, young people are listened to, accompanied and loved. 

We volunteers work together with the professionals of the House, trying to do so with freedom and creativity, as Don Bosco taught us. Our task is to provide school support to children who have difficulty in carrying out virtual lessons for various reasons (lack of computers or internet, for example).

It was a gift from God in these times of pandemic, an enormous joy to be able to be with children again after a long time, now in the "formal" educational environment, where I had never happened to be.

I have many things left of this Salesian Youth Volunteer, including the looks of the children, those of the first day and those of today.

Those discouraged looks that were there at the beginning, those curt answers to some personal questions no longer exist; now the gazes are of joy, the greetings are warm and the answers to any question must be accompanied by a "well, let's keep talking later, now let's do our homework."

It is inevitable to think of what Don Bosco said: "It is not enough to love young people, they must feel that they are loved." When you offer your time and will, they reward you with their trust, their love, their joy and their responsibility.

This experience is beautiful and it is a unique space which, as a Salesian animator, helps me to continue to form and learn in order to be able to give myself more and better to others.

Source: Don Bosco Norte


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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