We need many social volunteers
Humanitarian organizations cannot be “succedaneums” to alleviate the injustices that must be mend in their structures. Volunteers have to recognize all the good, just and efficient that has been done so far in the fields of beneficence, solidarity, justice and charity by movements that have sown in history amazing examples of self-sacrifice and of the creation of works that evidence the exemplarity in their behavior.
Social volunteers’ work cannot be a “trend” to fill up for the lack of commitment from other political, social or religious instances, nor to cover up for mistakes, injustice and the rich people’s exploitation over the poor and the North’s economic interests over that of the impoverished peoples of the South.
Volunteering is a sociological phenomenon that is born from a demand against any form of discrimination and marginalization for the racial, sexual, faith, cultural, economic, age or political reasons, with a need to become part of a solidarity project within a humanitarian organization with contrasted experience.
It’s possible to commit oneself before the testimony of common people who know how to scratch a few hours of their own time to serve others, especially the ones with the most needs, here “right around the corner,” in our own surroundings.
Humanitarian associations that have assumed their responsibility in the service to the weakest cannot become social action’s protagonist, but rather as a cooperating component in this duty that belongs to us all. A providence State with the intention of regulating everything is not welcome either, nor is it imaginable a utopian society that walks outside of the boundaries of public institutions with pressure groups that distort the social order wanted by citizens.
(There are associations that develop projects sustained by social volunteers that wish to work with those who need the most help: from the elderly to children, from the dying sick to prisoners to immigrants, from drug addicts to people with AIDS, from the disabled to those that society marginalizes in any way.)
These volunteers search for an authentic solidarity that works for justice and concord, with all gratitude, without looking for getting anything back or imposing any development model or any way of life that might root people out of their traditions and their identity. It is the humane person, in its community and its atmosphere that drives them to serve their surroundings in its personal, authentic, integral and balanced development.
Carlos Gª Fajardo
Translated by Carlos Miguélez
This article was published in the Center of Collaborations for Solidarity (CCS) on 05/24/2004