A Salesian reflects
AUL: Australia Pacific Province, 28 November 2019 -- This time, instead of a volunteer reflection, we have a reflection by a Salesian who has been instrumental in accepting Cagliero Project volunteers (Cagliero Project is the AUL Volunteer movement directed by Mrs Lauren Hichaaba, who is also Mission Animation Delegate for the Australia-Pacific Province).
1. Please describe your experience of hosting volunteers.
For me, it was one of the most unforgettable experience of my Salesian life. It has its joys and challenges but at the end of the day; it was life giving and create precious memories.
2. What was one of the greatest joys of hosting volunteers?
That it is possible to integrate the Australian culture with the Samoan way of life. We did achieve excellent results in our work because the young volunteers were committed to the Salesian Charism within a Samoan way of life.
3. What was one of the biggest challenges of hosting volunteers?
Not knowing whether he/she is happy, sad, frustrated or angry. The answer we get is that we are fine; I’m ok, wonderful etc. How can we better accommodate them? Am I doing too little or too much for them?
4. Describe one thing you learned from hosting volunteers?
Accepting each other’s perspective, strengths and weakness, understanding, and welcoming leads to a healthy working environment.
5. How does the presence of volunteers impact the life of the community?
It brings to reality Constitution #47 – “We welcome and encourage their (lay) collaboration, and give them the opportunity to get a deeper knowledge of the Salesian spirit and the practice of the preventive system”. Sometimes, the young Salesian volunteers are more ‘religious’ than the professed Religious like myself.
6. How does the presence of volunteers enable you to live the dream of Don Bosco?
I was very fortunate that working together with the volunteers really brought the best out of me in helping me become a better Salesian. The friendship and fellowship we shared was life-giving for me.