“The communication department of Voluntario Global, the local Argentinian NGO I worked for, is only composed of volunteers. They come from all around the world and work together to create content that they put on the website of the group or share on social networks. Communication volunteers are really important for the NGO because they are the only ones that show what the organization does, how the different projects work and why volunteers are needed. Moreover, as they are volunteers themselves, they are able to write about what volunteering means with their own perspectives and stories, what is much more personal and valuable for the people that read the website and are thinking about volunteering too.
As a member of this communication team, my role was to go to most of the projects the organization worked with and to write about them. I mainly had to interview the coordinators of the organization and the volunteers that worked there in order to write articles and descriptions that would help the organization to promote and introduce the projects they are participating in.
In this end, I spent most of my stay there visiting kindergartens, a soup kitchen, an orphanage, an English school and a communitarian radio station. More than only writing about these projects, I also had the opportunity to get involved in all of them, what was extraordinary rewarding. Indeed, thanks to this experience, I spent time playing with children and cooking for people that lived in poor areas and weren’t able to afford buying food for their families. However, I decided to participate more deeply in two projects, where I teached English in a small extracurricular school and talked about political and social matters in a communitarian radio station, once a week each for two months.
If at first we can think that writing articles about projects doesn’t really make you feel like a proper volunteer, I honestly believe now that it gave me much more perspectives about volunteering that the people that volunteer at full time in one single project. Indeed, helping and going to all these projects made me know much more areas and people, what is the best way to truly understand and learn about the different communities and the global situation of the country.
I think it also makes you realize what is the true impact and point of the organization you’re volunteering for. This is also why I am glad to be able to share what I lived through articles so that future volunteers can know more about the different projects, about volunteering in general and about Voluntario Global. Volunteering amongst the communication team also made me improve and develop my writing, understanding, speaking and video making skills.
To conclude, this internship gave me a complete vision of the organization’s work in Buenos Aires and I’m grateful I had the opportunity to cover and to get involved in all the wonderful projects that are set up there.
VOLUNTEERING TO DISCOVER A NEW COUNTRY
Being a volunteer abroad is also an opportunity to visit a new country or a new city, and for me it represented the first time I was going to South America. I didn’t really know what to expect from Buenos Aires, but all I can say is that I really enjoyed my stay there and I’m sure to go again.
First of all, I am glad I went to Argentina as a volunteer and not as a tourist, because I discovered amazing people through the projects I went to that I wouldn’t have met if I only went there to visit the center of the capital city. Indeed, I volunteered in small and poor towns located in the suburb that are far from what we can expect when we think about Buenos Aires, but these are the places where I had the opportunity to truly understand the political, economic and social situation of Argentina. I met wonderful people and I have a multitude of memories thanks to the moments I shared with the local inhabitants. I honestly believe that they gave me more than what I gave them as a volunteer, and this is the most beautiful thing I experienced while living there.
Through my travel to Argentina, I also had the opportunity to discover a strong cultural and historical wealth. This city is full of museums, cultural centers and monuments you can visit. Moreover, I was in Buenos Aires for July 9th 2016, what was the bi-century of independence, and this day was full of shows and performances that related the main events in Argentina’s history. People were celebrating this day as the beginning of Argentina as a new country with its own culture and history, what we still feel every day when we walk in Buenos Aires streets. Indeed, people there are truly involved in what is happening in their country and they are willing to share their habits, believes and customs. Walking in the streets and being able to watch tango shows and music players was amazing! Moreover, Argentina can also be recognized thanks to its food. I enjoyed eating wonderful pieces of meat, empanadas, medialunas and alfajores! And, even if I didn’t really like it, it was good to discover the “mate”, the typical drink they share and bring with them everywhere!
Finally, I discovered a lot of beautiful places that make this city unique and very attractive. In Buenos Aires, you can find amazing buildings such as the Palacio Barrollo, the Congress and the Colón Theatre, a lot of parks, a natural reserve and even a planetarium! However, my favorite place remains Puerto Madero, where I had the opportunity to see the most amazing sunsets and sunrises. There are also places whose architectures are pretty original such as Floralis, the Obelisco and the cemetery of La Recoletta. This city is also full of life and you have an infinite number of restaurants, bars, clubs or shows to have fun and meet new people.
Thanks to my experience as a volunteer in Buenos Aires, I had the opportunity to discover a unique and extraordinary city, whose beauty is not seeable at the first sight but is deeper and absolutely worthy!”