Milena is a 21 year old student of psychology, born and raised in Buenos Aires. She’s the volunteer coordinator at Voluntario Global and has worked at the NGO for a year and a half.
Being the Volunteer Coordinator means that Milena introduces all of the new volunteers to the organisation and the projects they’ll be working on, alongside visiting all of the different projects throughout the week. Most importantly, she is the go to person for the volunteers, if they have any issues or concerns.
It’s clear that volunteering is an integral part of Milena’s life, as she has volunteered for various projects and organisations since she was 15 years old - which only highlights an extraordinary passion for helping her local communities and giving back. As she delves into why volunteering is important to her, she explains that it’s not just an extracurricular activity, which some may view it as. She continues, volunteering “is about life, it’s about how you see life and where you can truly meet and bond with other people”. Not only that, the projects that Voluntario Global support allows Milena to bond with the surrounding communities and the neighbors of these projects, meaning that she is able to “ get to know them, know their daily problems and their concerns about their communities”. Going that extra mile is how you can tell Milena is so engaged in her work.
When asked about Voluntario Global itself, Milena explains that the NGO’s “ perspective and philosophy” is what she really admires and loves about the organisation. Not only this, but Voluntario Global is enthusiastically dedicated to “creating a network between all of the different communities, and letting them know that they aren’t alone”. Milena divulges, “ by creating a network between the different projects, you can let them know that there are other people in the same situation as them, and they can work together to try and resolve an issue”.
When asked if she wanted to share any success stories, Milena couldn't think of any in particular, however went on to explain that the work at Pacheco (the environmental and sustainability project), “really reflects everything that Voluntario Global is”. The young people there aren't just learning new skills to help them with future job opportunities, this is only one part. They also “learn a different way or working, in the community and with each other: they know at Pacheco that they have a purpose and that their opinions matter”. Milena explains that this notion is an essential idea of Voluntario Global, as when she first started her work for the NGO, she could see that her own opinion mattered and therefore she became more confident in herself and her work as a result.
After working with Milena for just over 6 weeks now, it’s clear to see her passion and drive, what with fitting in her work at Voluntario Global and studying for ten to fifteen hours a week for her psychology degree.
She dismisses us when asked how she fits it all in, as though its nothing. But, personally, I don’t know many 21 year olds that have the selfless determination that Milena has to help everyone and the local communities around her. Her passion for Voluntario Global is really inspiring, and although undecided what path she will take when she graduates, working for a NGO is most definitely an option for her.