The joy is always helping youth to growth
Cebu, The Philippines, January 2020 -- Interview with lay missionary volunteer Ms. Mae Goopio-Moran.
CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE?
When I was given the assignment to go to DB-Mati, I was very excited. Of course I hadn’t been to that place. When I checked the map, it was quite far from Davao City which made me more excited and very eager to start my mission. Yes, I considered it as a MISSION because I quit my job to have this kind of experience.
After more than 6 months of being a volunteer in Mati, I’ve learned a lot. First, the language is a little different (even though they also speak BISAYA). Second, the staff and the students were very down to earth and I can feel at that time that they were also excited to meet me. Third, I love the countryside. Everything is fresh; fresh air, fresh and free fruits, fresh water and the whole surroundings are fresh. I can remember that we made a garden plot and I had 2 plots on my own. It wasn’t easy but when I harvested my cucumber, it made all the sweat and sacrifices worth it. It was also my first time to spend 24-hours in a Don Bosco setting. You can totally differentiate a part-time volunteer from the full-time volunteer. It can make you see everything including the negatives but still it didn’t hinder my voluntary experience. Fourth, I can sympathize and empathize more with the students and how grateful they are to Don Bosco because they were given a chance to change and a chance to live and have a successful life some day. Fifth, I was able to go to Germany and join the International Youth Conference. It was my first out-of-country experience and made a great impact on my life. Lastly, it also made me stronger and have more patience.
WHAT WAS ONE OF THE GREATEST JOYS OF THE EXPERIENCE?
Being a part-time volunteer and a full-time volunteer, I’ve realized that the joy is always helping other young people to be better than what they are presently and sharing what I have without involving monetary amounts. Whenever they share their life stories and watching them become better individuals made my heart want to leap a thousand times.
WHAT WAS ONE OF THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES OF THE EXPERIENCE?
The biggest challenge was to face your superior who has already had a negative feeling towards you. Sadly but I never expected this to happen in my voluntary experience.
WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM YOUR VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE?
Salesians are also people just like us. We have our positive and negative sides. Each one of us has different preferences of something or about someone. So this made me understand more the word ACCEPTANCE. It is better to accept and let go than to have ill feelings to someone.
HOW HAS THIS IMPACTED YOUR LIFE JOURNEY?
It made a great impact especially today that I am in the real world. The greatest challenge on how to apply the things that I’ve learned from DB. It made me adjust easily to the people surrounding me and deal with them accordingly.
WHAT DOES DON BOSCO MEAN TO YOU AFTER THIS EXPERIENCE?
Don Bosco is always with me and my family. I don’t think I can have what I have right now if it were not for Don Bosco. Everything, I owe it to Don Bosco.
WHAT CAN THE MESSAGE OF DON BOSCO OFFER THE WORLD TODAY?
“Run, jump, shout, but do not sin” is the first thing that crossed my mind with this question. Today’s generation is so digital. Their world is already their mobile phones. They love social media, computer games and all types of applications that our mobile phone has to offer. Others havesaid that they are not doing bad because they are just using their mobile phones. But they have forgotten that not doing anything at all is also wrong or not doing the things that you need to do like doing homework, household/classroom chores, going to church, exercising, eating properly without using cellphones, playing outside and talking, etc. are also wrong. Many have done these things which made it trendy. The idea of many people are doing it made it sound like it is OK and right to do these things. I hope with the help of Don Bosco this digital generation would somehow put a limit on using their mobile phones, would always make a priority list and somehow maximize the usage of cellphones so that they can also be productive and therefore avoid sin.