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Marist volunteers for the world

13/11/2005: Spain

The non-government organisation SED (Solidarity, Education, Development) has a group of volunteers, which this year exceeded one hundred members, and which during the year assured various activities in education, health, community development and animation ministry. The last bulletin of SED (Bulletin SED, number 33, October 2005) presented testimonies of the volunteers – we are reproducing three of these here.

Maria Martínez and Vicent Izquierdo - Tanzania
Among our concerns as a couple and despite our hesitations, we wanted to try to improve the conditions of the lives of those who are not as privileged as us. We thus decided to dedicate a part of our time to get to know and live the daily life of people in a Third World country. Thanks to the brothers, we contacted SED and we had the chance to go to Tanzania to work mainly in the area of construction. (…) What is important is not so much the work that is realised but working with the people, not so much to help them and teach them, but rather to learn from those who assist you.
Miguel Romeo – Paraguay
Walking in the streets of Empalado Ari, in Caaguazú, is a captivating and totally fascinating experience. There is no rush! There is no point in running or getting irritated, time seems to go so slowly here that the clocks seem to have stopped. Here there is no need for plans, timetables, and daily agenda with compact activities. On the contrary, everything invites you to be calm, to be tranquil, the let the hours run by while contemplating life. To contemplate is not to lose time here, but to be enriched through the contact with the people and their presence.
When you walk through the streets, the children enchant and fascinate you. You cannot remain indifferent. Even if you do not want to, you finish by being surprised by their transparent looks, their warm camaraderie, their vitality, their simple and happy way of life. If you go through the streets of Empalado Ari, be assured that you will leave a part of your heart there.
Montserrat Inguanzo Ojeda - Zambie
The experience of this month and a half in Zambia was one of those that mark you for life. It is unbelievable how you can perceive such abundance with apparently so little, and how you can receive so much from people who have nothing. You learn to evaluate time in a different way: without rushing, by discovering the value of a smile, a caress, a hug. You discover that the language of LOVE does not depend on races, cultures and languages. And you ask yourself: “What is the sense of my presence here?” And you soon find the answer: the simple fact of being, of sharing experiences, laughter, advice is very important for them. And so it is also for me now.

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