Volunteer experience: Lily from the USA

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Volunteer Lily from University of Minnesota Volunteer Lily from University of Minnesota Voluntario Global

Interview with volunteer Lily about her experience in Argentina.

1. Can you introduce yourself?

My name is Lily and I’m a senior at the University of Minnesota studying Economics and Political Science. The project I work at is the Home for Children in Beccar.

2. Why did you choose to come to Buenos Aires?

I chose to come to Buenos Aires because one of my economics professors was from here. He used to talk about how the volatile economy affected him and his dad so I thought it would be a good place to learn about economics through firsthand experience.

3. Did you have any expectations before going to the project?

I didn’t really set any expectations before going to the project since I couldn’t even begin to imagine what it would be like. I wasn’t sure how interactive the kids would be or what kinds of activities we would be doing so it was difficult to set any expectations about the experience until I got there.

4. What is it that you like the most about the project and what do you like the least?

My favorite part about the project is getting to bond with the kids. It always puts a smile on my face when they run up to hug us upon our arrival and pull us aside to play games or to talk. I also love it when I get the chance to have one-on-one time with one of them. They usually have so much to say and so many questions to ask that I love being able to give them individualized attention. My least favorite part is never knowing who is going to be there while we’re there. It seems like there have been some schedule changes so sometimes there are a lot of kids there and other times there are just a few. It’s difficult to plan activities when we don’t know who is going to be there each week. 

5. What do you take from this experience?

From this experience I have learned that little things really do matter as long as they come from the heart. It doesn’t seem like a lot of work to play with children once per week, but it seems to have a big impact on the children and myself.

6. What does volunteering mean to you?

Volunteering to me simply means contributing time and energy to a cause. I think everyone should volunteer for something they’re passionate about because it’s an opportunity to learn while making a difference.

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