How it all began.
I first discovered Otra Cosa Network in 2014, during an event at La Rampa with the children and volunteers at the time.The children seemed so happy, with a carefree look in their eyes. They were completely satisfied with a ball, a skateboard and a person playing with them.
In my family the helping spirit was always there and I always liked children, the noise of their laughter is the energy of life. I wanted to know more, but I had been practicing English for 4 years without studying it formally, so I was afraid to take the leap and start on a project.
3 years later
It’s been 3 years since that afternoon of good vibes and laughter, magnificent energy and desire to help. In July of this year (2017), now 22 years old, more determined, with a desire to put professional skills into practice, I decided go onto the OCN website and fill in in the form. Tefa, one of the deputy managers, answered and offered me – according to my abilities – a vacancy in the Marketing area. “The perfect position”, I thought.
Tefa gave me a thorough induction… and the adventure began.
The journey so far
My volunteering started on 7th August. I was super excited, and I had a foreign partner named Krisztina. I was also nervous about starting work, and not just about the language (Krisztina spoke great Spanish). She updated me, shared her ideas and vision and so it was; a Peruvian woman sitting at a table with her Hungarian colleague, her Spanish line manager, and a Scottish boss. So I started to be surrounded by foreign people… wonderful people, by the way.
Everyone here has a different story, but the same desire: to help improve the lives of local people.
The energy of each of the volunteer is wonderful, they strive to improve their Spanish so they can work more closely with the children in the different projects. And, best of all: the children get attached and teach a lot of things to volunteers.
Every farewell is sad, somehow you get used to them a little. With Krisztina I shared a month and a half of work, and then she left, but taught me so much in in so little time, and I have funny memories of what it was like to speak in English and Spanish at the same time!
Joe, an Englishman, Kriszti’s replacement, arrived shortly afterwards. A success in his industry; he’s also teaching me a lot. It’s amazing how you can absorb positive things from the people around you, even if it’s only a little time together.
The future of my soul
I don’t have an exact date of departure; because, unlike the temporary stay of others, I’m not a foreigner, and I’m willing to continue to help as much as I can in the office.
Definitely, being a volunteer, it really enriches your soul. And the desire to help others motivates you to be better, even being in an office. Receiving so much help from volunteers, so many motivational ideas, and achieving so much, can only generate one thing: joy. Very happy.
This blog was written by Daniella Infantas