Cebu City, Philippines, 1 December 2019 -- Interview with former SALVO Volunteer, Ms Karen Castigador
How was your volunteer experience?
I would always consider my volunteer experience as something very valuable. It has set a pattern in my life to always want to keep on helping others in ways I can.
What was one of the greatest joys of the experience?
Seeing my students smile was my greatest joy. Being able to witness and share with their “aha moments” in class (Don Bosco Technical School in Phnom Penh, Cambodia) is a sight I would never want to miss.
What was one of the main challenges of the experience?
We teach them to learn the English language but ironically, communication (Khmer - English) was one of the biggest challenges I encountered in my experience.
What did you learn from your volunteer experience?
I learned that there is nothing better than having a kind and patient heart and passing it on. It is not enough to just have a kind heart, it would mean more if you learn to pass it on so everyone around get to have a heart like yours –a heart that desires to help others.
How has this experience impacted your life journey?
I feel that I had become a better person by volunteering and that only through volunteering can I fulfill my purpose for existence.
What does Don Bosco mean to you after this experience?
Don Bosco has always and will always be considered my mentor. Growing up guided by Don Bosco’s mission has inspired me to become a volunteer. And since I’m a volunteer myself, I can now turn it to a whole new level.
What can the message of Don Bosco offer the world today?
I always believe that Don Bosco wants us to live with his quote that says, “To the stars, through hardships”. But one needs not to undergo the hardship alone but with a companion. If only there would be more people volunteering, then so much more people could have been helped. The big problem is that everyone is so busy with their personal life that they forget about the importance of helping others.