Why do you volunteer? I am convinced that with the will I can impact the life of others and mine, and I know that there is nothing more gratifying than seeing the people that we work with smile. I volunteer with the Youth Movement Against Violence in El Salvador
What have you learned as a volunteer? I have learned three fundamental values: love, humility, and service. I have also learned that my words become actions that impact and benefit others. Volunteering results in a transformation of lives, lives of countries, and countries of the world.
How do you think your work as a volunteer helps your community? It is important to mention that it doesn’t matter how big or small your volunteering contributions are, nor does the size of our efforts. Each one of us adds value to make our cause successful, for which I am certain that each thing we do to better our community will impact the life of many generations. The work we do as volunteers has a waterfall effect. The benefits of our working for causes directly transforms hearts, lives, and communities, making communities safer and without violence and, in turn, leads to countries with better opportunities.
What impact do you think the Youth Against Violence Movements or Outreach Centers have had in your work as a volunteer? The impact is reciprocal. The Movement has given me the opportunity to reach my dreams, and elevate my spirit and heart to believe in a cause. The Movement has not only enabled me and given me tools for my work as a volunteer, but also it has given me the opportunity to keep reaching for my dreams, knowing that everything is possible if we are passionate in our beliefs. Thanks to all these benefits, now I also can teach and replicate my lessons learned through the motivation that I now possess. This motivation is contagious to others in the fight against violence and for love and prevention of violence. The Movement has given me the opportunity to support the opening of the Youth Movement Against Violence Nicaragua chapter and to work to create a public policy for violence prevention at the national and regional levels. We dream that all of our hard work can extend outside of our borders, benefiting all youth of any country in the region.
Aleyda Mendez is a volunteer in the Youth Movement Against Violence in El Salvador.