Volunteering to change lives
by Luis Viscarra
I started my volunteering life in another non-profit working in informal settlements, the first of which was in Ciudad Arce, somewhere in between San Salvador and Santa Ana. There I learned the greatest lesson that perhaps I still carry with me to this day: “not everything’s about me”; That is basically the essence of volunteering, thinking and acting for others.
At the center of my work at Habitat for Humanity I’ve tried to take that motto with me (many times unsuccessfully), but luckily I haven’t been alone; God has provided many talented people to our group, who have enabled us to become one of the strongest volunteer programs in the world, both nationally and internationally.
Covid-19 has come to disrupt all of that, the way we work is now different and it changes from day to day, as it should! specially if we want the priority to be the health of our families and volunteers. It´s basically meant going back to square one, but we did it once and we´ll do it as many times as it takes.
Now is not the time to grieve on how far we´d gotten, that is not how you tackle problems like inadequate housing. For this, our role and way of doing things will also innovate, we are slowly engaging volunteers in different mediums, online sharing has become more important than ever as a way to help, and volunteering has taken on more forms than we could have ever imagined.
If you can help, help, if you can give, give, and if you have any ideas, please don’t be shy in letting us know! After all, you are also part of that talented group of people.