Testimony of a Volunteer
We received from Pamplona the testimony of a girl that volunteered this June in Terral’s summer program with group III, the group of older girls, and she wanted to share her experience with this letter:
This is the story of a normal, ordinary girl like you and me. With problems, but with many friends who raise her self-esteem. With concerns, small unimportant things, but with parents who would do anything for her and only want to see her happy. She also has a love, a life companion, with whom she was completely in love. She was a normal and ordinary girl, as I told you, like you and me. With caprices, objectives and aspirations, instagram and recently facebook. She was a girl like us.
This girl, that seems to be the protagonist of the story, realized in a week, in a mere 7 days that she was the fortunate one. The lottery? No, it wasn’t that. She didn’t win a contest or a scholarship. She didn’t feel fortunate because she got an iphone 6 or because her instagram photo received 300 “likes.” No, she didn’t feel fortunate for a material reason.
What happened was that she collaborated with a Barcelona association as a volunteer instructor. The fact is that although this girl seems to be the protagonist of this short story, you are mistaken, the protagonists are the girls.
They were girls between 11 and 14 years old, the majority of them foreigners, but with very few differences to you and me. What was different was that I had my mother and my father at home, that my house was full of hugs, that I studied in the university and that I lacked nothing. Basically, what we probably see as something normal for an 18-year-old girl. The problem was that I saw the luck I had when I saw in these girls the lack of affection, the absence at home of a paternal figure, rough hands from scrubbing or tired of cooking. When I saw that their spelling and grammar was at a level lower than what it should have been, when they couldn’t believe that they were able to go to school and when they told me how they suffered from bullying at school. But do you know what I also saw? I saw hope behind each one of these innocent girls. I saw that the youngest of the group was excited in the museum and literally said, “Teresa, how cool is this museum because I can see the things that I like and can learn,” I saw that each girl shared the little that she had. I realized that the most rebellious and nervous also had a steady hand that would surprise you and great concentration in the picture that she painted.
They probably did not comply with all of the rules of the camp, but they complied with those of the game, and believe me that that is something.
Many said thank you and usually smiled. I don’t know the reason, but they did it. Whether it was because they saw me a little annoyed, because I made a joke, or because they disobeyed me, but they did it.
The last day arrived and I felt that I was leaving them exposed in the open. I couldn’t leave. However, a group of well-prepared volunteers with great strength stayed to take care of them, in the charge of the coordinators and the great team.
I left satisfied, grateful, and with a little piece of my heart in Terral. Because, the most truly important thing was when a girl from the group came to me and said, “Thank you, I have learned a lot from you” and I responded, “I also have learned from you.” She laughed and left. I owe her a museum trip.