Hi, I’m Emilia. I’m a Finnish girl from Paris and currently volunteering for four months with Foundation La Vecina in Cartagena. Recent University graduate, I came here via an organization called Moving Worlds, which organizes business-related volunteering missions. The idea is to work abroad with a local institution, contributing to an impactful case, that is at the same time beneficial for one’s future career. At the best it is exchange of cultures and competences, an experience that both sides can learn something from.
This is exactly how I feel about working with La Vecina. My role is to coordinate various projects, and to work on improving the foundation’s communication and social media presence. The goal is to attract new sponsors and to help the organization run smoothly. At the same time, I’ve been able to discover the education field, practice my Spanish, challenge myself as a teacher, and learn how to work together despite cultural differences.
Most importantly, spending time in the marginalized district of La Boquilla has opened my eyes and taught me to be grateful for what I have. I’ve been amazed to see how friendly everyone in La Boquilla is, and how content they seem to be even if they don’t have much. When I walk in the neighborhood, I see people singing, dancing, laughing and enjoying life. I’m glad to be part of this community and to do a job that has a real purpose. The feeling is priceless when a young kid comes running to me, gives me a hug and tells me that they like my classes. I can’t think of anything more rewarding than seeing the smiles of these underprivileged children, and I’m happy that I chose to volunteer with La Vecina.