Smiles, learning, and reflection, the result of the “Conocer Dejando Huella” Volunteer Program
Semester after semester, students from different programs of our House of Studies get together to leave a mark on the population of the Egypt District. Fourteen hours of dedication, which in the end are summarized in anecdotes to tell, learning experiences sharing, and reflections for consideration.
In mid-2017, the Library and the Finance, Government and International Relations Faculty, initiated the project “Conocer Dejando Huella” (Learning while leaving a mark). The project is a space where students seek to assertively approach children, young people, and older adults in our University’s neighboring sector, to promote values that will help their lives in the community.
At the conclusion of the 2018 first semester volunteer program, participating students arrived at the Fundación Buena Semilla carrying activities and surprises. It was time to say goodbye to the children they worked with during these six months.
Students Juliana Gracias, Laura Ávila, and Juliana Bejarano, of the Psychology program; Nicolás Rojas and Alejandra Garzón, Anthropology; Laura Marín, Sociology; Julieta Espinel, Finance, Government and International Relations; and Natalia Afanador, Social Work, organized the event. Also participating were Library Culture professionals and professors who offered support throughout the project.
“I wanted to be part of the volunteer program as I believe it is a wonderful endeavor, one has to be very human, must know the people’s reality. Working with them is not about changing their way of thinking or their everyday life, but being capable of generating ideas, so they are the ones coming up with solutions to change it,” said Laura Ávila, fifth- semester Psychology student.
Moreover, Julieta Espinel, one of the volunteers participating in the closing ceremony activities, said this experience is one of the best of her life. Beyond learning and seeing other realities, different from our own, she was able to apply the academic knowledge acquired in the Finance, Government and International Relations program.
“This experience has not only taught me to be a teacher (as it is very difficult to educate children) but to be a person, because one learns much from these children. It is a different experience, I have been able to apply what I have learned at the university,” added the FIGRI student.
The closing activities ended with dances, songs, surprises, and the promise that the Externado’s great work with the Egypt district community will continue next semester.