Dedicated to my EVS friends
Have you ever taken the metro from Syntagma Square to the airport in Athens? It takes long. Long enough to go back in time through memories and have a deep reflection about the days I spent amongst a group of extraodinary people…
Man is the main problem himself. We’ve modified the Planet in pursuiting development and a better standard of living. Capitalism has globalised residues, air pollution or degradation of ecosystems to planetary scale presenting environmental problems such as desertification, climate change or water shortage that threaten the survival of millions of people. Even worse, we’ve lost our capacity of reflection and criticism. It is not just a financial crisis, but a crisis of values, a crisis of the occidental life style. We live in a markets’ society, where everything is worth a price in terms of economy, beyond its real value. At present Europe is, but is not what once we dreamed it should be about.
And still, I do believe in a truly human society, driven by the values of trust, solidarity and mutual respect between cultures and nations. Amongst them, there is a group of ordinary people with extraodinary abilities and huge hearts, promoting cooperation, encouraging participation, fighting for human rights, preserving nature, contributing to the well-being of society as a whole. Their work, so many times hardly recognized, cannot be measured in terms of economic return and however they don’t give up, becoming the active participants in change that society needs. They are called volunteers…
…Volunteers. Men and women. Several generations. Different accents and languages, from different countries and backgrounds, but identical purposes in defending dignity, democracy and freedom for a better and sustanaible world, out of free will and in a spirit of solidarity, without expectation of material reward.
Again, I met this people in Athens. And again, I left the city with my heart on one hand, and a handful of good reasons to believe there is space for hope.
For these and many more, let me say THANK YOU for your support, for the work you are carrying out, for the role you are playing, for being who you are. No matter the reason that brought you to this point, thank you.
We are the energy that makes the world move. We are volunteers.
*EVS=European Volunteer Service
The European Voluntary Service (EVS) provides young people with the unique chance to express their personal commitment through unpaid and full-time voluntary activities in a foreign country within or outside the EU. In this way, it seeks to develop solidarity, mutual understanding and tolerance among young people, thus contributing to reinforcing social cohesion in the European Union and to promoting young people’s active citizenship. Further info here