By Kelvin Rodrigues, Development Volunteer team October 2023
Planet Earth 2024: Many believed that this year man would be living a fuller life, full of peace, love, abundance, joys. But this is the scenario for a small portion of the world’s population. What we see today, after so many technological advances in all areas of knowledge that man dominates, are known ills: pandemics, wars, hunger, diseases and the most feared and current of all, climate change that affects mainly the poorest.
They are themes that somehow bother so many people, but the majority does not take any position or action to confront them. But what makes a person see that something needs to be changed and that he is part of the problem and needs to act?
I believe it is INDIGNATION. The feeling of indignation is expressed as a human manifestation of discontent, through words or attitudes, varying in intensity according to the level of indignation of the individual.
I greatly admire a quality in highlighting things that outrage me. Surely this is a strong fuel to act on something that I do not agree with and want to change, maybe that’s why volunteering found me. Maybe that’s why volunteering rescued me. I’ve always looked at these issues and wondered why? Why so much pain? Why so much hunger? Why so much destruction.
Indignation opens doors and minds and automatically creates an unsettling conflict to search for answers. Many people find the answers, but they stop and don’t continue.
Humana People to People is aligned with my values and vision for the future. Thinking of contributing in order to make the world a better place for people who do not have their basic survival needs met. Using tools that optimize projects and knowledge that enhance the scope of their actions, becoming a great ally in the fight against inequality in the world.
Among the main projects, two caught my attention: 1- Community Development and 2-Health. Maybe I want to go deeper into these themes.
Knowing that almost 12% of the adult population of 3 African countries (Mozambique, Zambia and Malawi) is infected with the HIV virus, while the world average is at 0,8%, shows the abyss that separates, on one hand, populations that lack information and prevention of this disease and, on the other hand, many other countries of the globe where it is controlled.
Something that caught my attention in Humana People to People’s Progress Report of 2021, is the quote from a mother who understands the importance of accepting antiretroviral treatment for her infected child and shares that it changed her life and increased the quality of life of her child: “I was living in denial and refused to accept my HIV+ status. My choice prevented my children from accessing HIV testing services. I received counselling and took my child for an HIV test and she was found HIV+,” says Barbra Zulu, one participant in the Child Aid Mongu project. “My child’s HIV viral load was high, at 2 374, and she was put on antiretroviral therapy. It has now dropped to 178.” Barbra is an active member of her local Village Action Group. The group helped her construct her house and her child got financial support for the school fees.
In Brazil, I participated in a social project that welcomed people infected or living with the HIV virus. I distinctly remember, in particular, two brothers who lived with the virus: one was infected and the other not. In addiction was that when the weather cooled, because of the low immunity, they both got sick with flu. In this project, we took a special day, where children and adolescents could express their joys through games and activities.
I cannot wait to achieve the change that I wish to see in the world, through volunteering with Humana People to People, sharing my knowledge, skills and workforce for the common good.
Volunteer work goes beyond the simple action of helping. It is a commitment to humanity, something that reverberates in hearts and communities, bringing light to places and people previously forgotten and excluded. Volunteering is the donation of time, skills, and empathy without expecting material rewards. It is love for others in its purest essence. It is the genuine desire to make a difference in someone’s life, also transforming the life of those who help. Volunteering puts us in constant movement, whether we are contributing with ideas, distributing food or participating in community actions. This dynamic engagement not only helps transforming lives, but also enhances our health and strengthens our vital energy. The act of helping brings mental clarity. By focusing on the needs of others, our daily concerns are put into perspective, and we give value to the ordinary. The essential bond created by helping is invaluable. Feeling of belonging, love and understanding flourish, making us more empathetic and connected with each other. An action can generate waves of change, volunteering strengthens communities, builds bridges of solidarity, and promotes social justice. It is the practical manifestation of the phrase "together we are stronger".
Choosing to volunteer is choosing love, empathy and transformation. It is to recognizing that true wealth lies in human connections and in the ability to illuminate one’s life. With increasing inequality, climate crises, global warming, health crises and so many other ills that threaten humanity, it will be essential that people use their skills in other to bring significant impact into the transformation of the world. Change begins with action.
I believe that our main function here on Earth is to evolve, and build day by day a better world, reaching as many people as possible leaving a better place for us and for those who will come after. Constantly I have felt that to leverage my evolution I need to move the structures and open new paths, hitherto unknown. That’s what I’m looking for now.