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Hello, my name is Encarni Rio and I would like to tell you a little about the rewarding experience I had last weekend, helping as a volunteer on the Solidarity Walk activity organized by the Chair of Solidarity of the University.

I have to admit that I had previously never dealt with people with this type of disability before and I really did not know what I was going to face doing this volunteer work.

Within the first 5 minutes of greeting them, I had one of the best receptions one can possibly ask for. I received so many hugs and kisses from them. They were incredibly happy, it was as if it was their birthday and I was their special present! They all came to see who I was, hugged me, gave me kisses and then we held hands as we conversed.

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Afterwards, once all my fellow volunteers came, the school management showed us the facilities. I found their place very complete and appropriate, since they have all the basic services that a person with their type of disability needs (nursing, dentistry, gym, swimming pool for rehabilitation, classrooms for workshops and etc…). Their homes are prepared to house groups of 12 people.

I found the organization’s system quite interesting, even though patients were divided into separate groups, they still received individual attention from specialists. This is because each person has a different degree of disability, therefore different needs as well.

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After viewing the facilities, each volunteer was assigned to a single patient to help them with the ride. The aim of the visit was to take a walk in the sun and pass through the gardens of the city. And to distract them a little from their daily routine, we went to have a drink with them in the morning.

After my participation in this event, I genuinely encourage those who have never participated in a service activity before, to do so! It is a truly unforgettable experience that will help you discover a new aspect of yourself and make you feel better about yourself for giving back and helping others. To listen to a person with certain disabilities tell you that the next time you’ll come to visit, she will be the one taking care of you, is something worth listening to.

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Thank you very much to all the coordinators that made it possible to carry out such activities. Not only do they brighten up the lives of those in-need, but it also fills the volunteers with love.

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