How was your community experience hosting the volunteers?
The experience of hosting volunteers in our community was an enriching one. We appreciated their presence which we wished could be a two years’ experience. It was a very missionary experience. The mutual acceptance came up fast.
What was one of the greatest joys of hosting volunteers?
The great support, their youthfulness, their openness to the culture, to the community schedule and to the cultural diversity of the community. They brought a different spirit, a youthful spirit to the community. For the students it was always nice to see the two volunteers amidst the young.
Can you share one of the biggest challenges of hosting volunteers?
The cultural differences, the expectations we Salesians SDB may have towards volunteers is to want them to live as if they were professed Salesians. And since they are young, sometimes, there was at certain moments conflict of interest. Sometimes what was for fun for them, could not be for the Salesians, even during the table conversations.
Can you share one thing you learned from hosting volunteers?
One thing I learn from hosting the volunteers was their humility and availability: “Whenever and in whatever you need us, we are available!” - they used to say. It is always good when you have people available to you with all humility to accept whatever tasks are given to them.
How does the presence of volunteers enable you to live the dream of Don Bosco?
This is a different flavour of Salesian spirit in complementary relationships. Our Salesian presence was extended and supported by the presence of our volunteers. Their exchange of life experience helped to mould the young. What we could not do because of being few in number as Salesians of Don Bosco, they did. We shared good night talks and we also shared recollection animations – something new for us religious!