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.
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.
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.
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.