Doing Meaningful Things
VOLUNTEER DOMINIKA SIMONFFYOVA
Since I left Africa, I cannot stop thinking about the importance of doing meaningful things, and what it means. Being a volunteer in Bosco Boys helped me to forget about myself and my troubles which are almost nothing comparing to those which our boys are facing in their life.
Recently, I had a radio interview in Slovakia and when I was listening to the words I said, I realised how much these few months in Langata have changed me.
You know, many people in my country have their own image about volunteers. We are often perceived as those ones who are doing big, great, amazing things changing the environment around us.
However, the truth is that I am the one to whom the big, great, amazing things were done.
It was not always easy, to get on well with everybody, to accept some differences, to adapt, but it was nothing comparing to happiness and love I got from everybody in Langata and other people I met in Kenya.
Salesians, teachers, workers and volunteers, everybody involved in the work of Don Bosco, are people who think about needy children at first place. Those people showed me what sacrifice, the overcoming of self and selfless love mean. It is good to bring something new and try to change things for better but we cannot do something by force. Innovations are great thing but I realised that my role is mainly to accept these boys, give them love, understanding, my presence and listen to them carefully.
To see the goodness in them and help them to see it too. I do not know what it is like to be raised in the slums or on the streets, but I know what it is when you cannot rely on your own family, when you depend on help of other people. Maybe this is the reason why I feel somehow connected to our boys.
We have something in common. Sometimes they are tough and rude, but on the other side, they are capable of doing great things, they are very talented and clever. I think it is our responsibility to distinguish and develop this great potential they have inside them. The place where they were born cannot predetermine their future.
Now I am back in Slovakia. I have a job in business, but I cannot do it anymore.
I studied to become a teacher and after returning from Kenya, I see the importance of education even in my own country. Thanks to this experience, I see that I can do the same in Slovakia. I am very grateful for everything what happened to me in Africa, good and bad things, too, because it helped me to change my values and to do meaningful things even though the rest of the world see them small and unimportant.