The Salesians are located in more than 130 countries. In every place where there is a Salesian house there is a volunteer. Thousands of volunteers from different parts of the world come to the missions to support projects and contribute their "grain of sand" to eradicating poverty.
This is the case of Tere and María, two Italian/Spanish doctors who work in the health center of Abobo (Ethiopia). Then there are also 17 young volunteers who left the Czech Republic this summer to serve in Angola, Bulgaria, Ecuador, India, Kenya, Tanzania and Papua New Guinea. Or we can also mention De Giulliano, a young Uruguayan who spent the summer in Ecuador or, again, Álex, from Parla (near Madrid) who gave part of his life for the youth of Ciudad Don Bosco in Medellín, Colombia.
If there is something in common between all the testimonies of the volunteers it is the sense of community that is generated in each of the destinations in which they arrive. "I will give everything, there is no one specific thing; I will be available to all the needs of the community, eager to learn about the story of children and to share what they are," said De Guilliano before leaving for Ecuador.
For Alex it was, without a doubt, a transformative experience. "The objective of my job is to listen to and understand boys and girls," he said, "putting myself in the shoes of different lives, whose current goal must be to walk, advance and grow."
Volunteering is an opportunity to contribute to the lives of others and live a unique experience.
The Salesian Missionary Volunteer has an identity. A "volunteer" is a young person who carries out work at the service of the mission in a supportive and continuous manner, without pay. He or she is "missionary" because they express the joy of bringing the Word of God. And they are "Salesian" because he or she is characterized by their work among young people, inspired by the Preventive System, with an oratorian heart and family spirit, and they direct their work with the "da mihi animas".
Participating in these experiences does not make you more than others, nor does it make you a hero or a revolutionary; it transforms you to be part of a movement that changes the world.