Thank you Milonga, thank you volunteers of the world!
By Janeth Cárdenas
Every year, millions of people volunteer throughout the whole world. The 5th of December is dedicated to them, proclaimed by the United Nations as “International Volunteer Day”. To celebrate, let’s discover the international volunteering project of “Milonga”, which offers “fraternal”, intercultural and quality volunteering opportunities to young people between the ages of 18 to 35, in synergy with the work of social organizations already engaged in different peripheries of the planet.
Who are volunteers? People who decide to come out of their “comfort zone” and act by donating their time, skills, capacities, knowledge unselfishly. Moved by the desire to contribute, with their grain of sand, to the transformation of the realities of inequality, inequity, and injustice experienced in many communities around the world. From 1986, the United Nations have dedicated the 5th of December to them.
International Volunteer Day
International Volunteer Day offers the opportunity, to the volunteer organizations and to the single volunteers, to promote volunteering, encourage new experiences, to urge the governments and international organizations to cooperate and establish clear mechanisms, so that people who are willing find a way to render their service.
The theme of the International Volunteer Day 2022 wants to celebrate solidarity through volunteering. «The growing inequalities worldwide – which can be read on the official website – force us to work together to find common solutions. The volunteers, driven by solidarity, develop solutions to the urgent development challenges and for the common good. Volunteering is the point where compassion meets solidarity. Both share the same fundamental values: support each other from a position of trust, humility, respect and equality».
The volunteers of Milonga
On this day, among the volunteers worldwide who, with their effort and dedication, contribute to building a more united world, we want to celebrate, in particular, the young volunteers who committed themselves, through the years, to the “Milonga” program. An international volunteer program that seeks to connect the youth’s desire for action with the needs of various social organizations around the world, that work on a daily basis with communities in vulnerable situations.
In its 7 years of activity, Milonga connected more than 300 youth with the 30 organizations part of the program. Boys and girls between the ages of 18 to 35 who, apart from embarking on a journey of service towards others, have lived an intercultural and formative experience.
In 2022, more than 60 youth enrolled in the program, out of which 18 of them have already concluded their experience, 2 of them are currently in service, another 2 of them will leave between December and January, and at least 10 of them are getting ready to travel in the first half of 2023.
Today, on the International Volunteer Day, we thank all these youth who, moved by the desire to donate and to contribute to the construction of a more humane and fraternal world, have put their daily lives on hold, studies, work, personal projects, to live an adventure of encounter, sharing and of service towards the fragile. They are, undoubtedly, global citizens who are not contented with observing the poverty, inequality, and injustice from a distance but want to make a difference, be the change they want to see in the world. To each of them goes our biggest: thank you!
«Like a painter who paints on a white canvas, with a palette and paintbrushes, day after day, I started depicting a painting where the colors were the glances, the smiles, the generosity, the difficulties, the simplicity, the embraces, the enthusiasm, the welcoming, the dignity, the gratitude, the poverty, the uniqueness and astonishment of the children and of all the people that I met».
Martina, Italian volunteer in UNIPAR, Paraguay
«I learnt to be patient, I once again learnt that people come before everything and then, work, whichever this may be. I changed the vision I had of the business world; I understood that in a company not everything is money, but what we convey and donate, through the services provided and the relations that one establishes».
Carlos, Paraguayan volunteer in El Diamante, Mexico
«I learnt a lot, more in 3 months in Kenya than in 5 school years, to live in a community, to risk without being afraid, to be resourceful because it is the only way to face life, to live in harmony with everyone and be patient and gentle as they were with me».
Angelica, Brazilian volunteer in Fazenda La Esperanza, Kenya