I really want to change the world.
On Friday 12th October, I visited the Refugee Shelter Centre in Sigüenza (Guadalajara, Spain), I spent the bank holiday weekend there as a volunteer helping people who seek asylum in our country, because they are going through war in their respective countries: Yemen, Ukraine, Senegal, Venezuela, Mexico, Palestine, Guinea Conakry, Mali, Venezuela and, many other parts of the world that we cannot even imagine.
Strength, hope and vocation, are the three words that summarize my experience this bank holiday weekend.
Strength, because I saw it in the ability of people to seek a peaceful home, who want a better life; a life with dignity and hope. This was not the first time that I have been a volunteer, but this is the experience that has most opened my eyes. Seeing that there is war in so many parts of the world, and that we live as well as we live, makes me seriously rethink the way of life that we lead. We look in the other direction without taking into account what other human beings are going through. I know that it is easy to look away, to be a slave to laziness and comfort. But nothing is as easy as it seems. When you see yourself in a situation of seeking refuge outside your country`s borders like so many children have to, with or without their family, or so many mothers and young people; When you put a face, a name and a surname to those people, things change. It has not left me indifferent. Meeting these people has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. And we must all become aware of the importance of helping them. They are not as far away from us as we might imagine, we do not have to go to Yemen or Senegal because they are closer than we think.
The hope I saw in their eyes constantly reminded me of a song that I love which goes something like this: “the map is getting smaller, my soul asks for more”. These people have taken a huge step, going beyond what they know because, they cannot stay in a country that is at war. A 25 year old father with three children told me that he could hear bombing 15 km away from his house. It is obvious that it`s a desperate and suffocating situation and that`s why they look for something better: security, well-being, health…
And lastly the word vocation for the capacity of service that the volunteers have, especially the missionaries. Piedad asked us how we would describe a missionary, and in my head the answer was clear: a consecrated volunteer. And I don`t think I was mistaken.
I am 19 years old and eager to change this world, we must change the world, nobody deserves the situation that people living in the refugee centre live with, nobody.