The month of December was decisive in this instructive experience because I took the decision to shorten my volunteer mission.
Looking back, I think i was completely exhausted trying to find a balance that I finally found when I left. Extreme and perfectionist, I had a very unrealistic vision of what daily life could be like, and of the many difficulties that childrens, adolescents migrants, unaccompanied.
As soon as I arrived, being very touched and upset by their stories, their experiences and the injustices they suffer. I set myself the goal of saving them, or at least finding THE solution to their problems. How can I explain to you that these excessive and unrealistic expectations made me lose confidence in myself for a while. I woke up every day with the stress and anguish of not being able to teach them knowledge, skills and give them all my support and good humor. I wanted so hardly to have a positive impact in their lives that I exhausted myself for that purpose.
However, after doing a bit of introspection, and having had the support and precious advices of my referents, as my roommates as well, I realized that it wasn’t my role. I understood that the present moment spent with them was the most important and that was what I had to focus. I understood that young people had no expectations of me and that they were just happy to spend time with me, that someone was there for them.
The moments spent at the shelter were rich in exchanges, shared in kindness, mutual respect, simplicity and authenticity. I learned the importance of being open and learning about each other’s differences and forgetting some falsely founded prejudices. This learning of the history and cultures of other countries allowed me to understand and establish a bond of trust and a feeling of brotherhood with the young people of the shelter.
This experience was a great life lesson and changed me. I met exceptional people there, and by sharing this same goal of solidarity, no matter the individual or their social group or where they come from, we created a feeling of unity.
I thank again from the bottom of my heart all those people who helped me to grow, and to live this unforgettable experience.