Hola Jiyan! So, let's begin with your age, your name and where you’re from?
My name is Jiyan, I’m 19 years old and I’m from Germany.
Firstly, what initially interested you about with volunteering for Voluntario Global?
I already knew that I wanted to volunteer in my gap year, so I decided to search for volunteering opportunities in South America, as it’s always been my dream to go to South America. I found Voluntario Global interesting because I like the system of creating this network, and they have so many different projects, in so many different areas. They have projects in Kindergartens, homes for children, soup kitchens, radio stations and health centres; they want to improve the situation in all kinds of areas, so that’s why I chose Voluntario Global.
Can you explain what your duties were as a volunteer and what project you worked on?
To begin with, I was part of the communications team at Voluntario Global, so my job was to visit all of the projects that they have, go there, take pictures and videos, interview the other volunteers, in addition to writing blog posts, translating them and then sharing them over social media.
The second part of my volunteering experience was at the home for children, which involved mostly taking care of the children, and do what their parents would normally do with them, such as playing with them, going to the park with them, talking with them, helping with homework, things like that.
As you mentioned you initially started off in the communications project, how did Voluntario Global help facilitate your switch in positions?
The thing is I couldn’t decide between these two projects, so I had already told Voluntario Global that I wanted to do both, and they said that as I was staying for more than 3 months, it wouldn't be a problem for me to do that. So I worked in the communications department for the first two months and the second project, in the home for the other two months, and it was totally fine. It was really easy.
What will you take away from your experience from volunteering for Voluntario Global?
I guess, the most important thing is, to actually go and physically do something, not just talk about what you want to do, for instance you can go out and really stand up for what you believe in, not just posting, sharing or liking something on the internet, you must try and stand up for what you want to do.
It’s the small steps that matter the most, you know, whether that's cutting up vegetables in the soup kitchen, talking to the volunteers and trying to spread Voluntario Global’s message on social media or just simply talking to the children to understand their lives and try to help them. Its small steps. But it’s so easy and you just need to get out of your comfort zone and try to make a difference.
So separately, what kind of activities were you doing in your spare time in Argentina?
Well, on the weekends, I tried to visit more areas out of Buenos Aires, and the cities around Buenos Aires and also Uruguay. I usually try to go around the city and capture as much of the culture as I can, like walking around the different towns, Palermo, San Telmo and going to the markets. Also trying to talk to the people who live here. The hostel also was a great opportunity to meet other people and you know, really take advantage of the city.
Thanks so much for joining us here! What are you future plans after Voluntario Global?
My future plans are to go back to Germany, and hopefully start studying soon, but until then, I will try and enjoy my free time with friends and family.
Thanks so much Jiyan, and please keep in touch, safe travels!