Irina meets Camilo, who volunteers to teach students in vulnerable situations in Valencia, Spain
Camilo Calvache is a 26-year-old PhD student from Ecuador who currently lives in Valencia, Spain. He moved there to do a master’s degree after graduating in Biotechnology Engineering. Now, he is enrolled in a research program in Plant Molecular and Synthetic Biology at Universidad Politécnica de Valencia (UPV), a full-time activity that combines with solidarity, as he volunteers in a local school to help youngsters with their studies.
The volunteering journey of Calvache started in Valencia eight months ago when he found ESYCU by contacting different non-profit organizations. He volunteers to teach after class in a school with vulnerable students. The scheme entails explaining subjects like Maths, supporting the students with their homework, and many other tasks so they can achieve better grades. When he visited ESYCU and they explained to him the open possibilities, he realized that the project was tailor-made for him.
Practising solidarity through volunteering has been a life-changing decision for Calvache. He considers it a way of life to achieve fullness and matureness. Furthermore, he claims he has learnt emotional intelligence, self-realisation, behaviour comprehension, and freedom thanks to volunteering. “Personal growth cannot be achieved when you are the only person gaining”, affirms Calvache.
Solidarity: the face of challenge and fulfilment
“During classes, we try to solve all the problems and questions they have with different approaches. In some cases, I try to innovate and teach them all the methods so they can use them in the future”, adds Calvache about his tasks in the volunteering, a solidarity project that at the very beginning presented some challenges as well. “To reach the school I must go on a three or four-kilometre road. At first, it was tough, but I have to admit that when I fell in love with the activity, I was not worried about it anymore”, Calvache recognises.
Another defiance for Calvache was communication, to him explaining ideas that in his mind looked easy but for the students are hard was a setback. “Now I can say that the way I have been optimizing things and simplifying concepts has made me realize that I am proving my teaching tools. Also, they are always trying to improve the way they learn. We both are improving”, explains Calvache about conquering the challenge also with the commitment of the students.
Apart from a way of life, for Calvache volunteering and giving his time and experience to the students is a source of happiness. “I can tell you that when smiles are drawn on their faces and realization occur by the end of the day, I just know I did well that day”, he declares about his feelings.
Encouraging others to be solidary
“The biggest message that I can give is about one self-heart opening”, begins Calvache to encourage others around the world to start volunteering while pointing out that we all can give something to someone in a selfless way.
“A lot is about giving, but you cannot imagine how it feels when you are volunteering. You discover that what you have been given is not as good as what they have given you. It is priceless”, he concludes.
Interested in volunteering?
If you are a young person or you may know young people that want to get involved in the experience of living and/or working in an international environment – the radio show “LIVE” is for you.
Your host is Irina Parra, doing this radio show as a part of the project LIVE, long-term volunteering from the non-profit organisation TDM 20000 in Cagliari, Sardegna, and part of the European Solidarity Corps. Feel free to reach out for questions or suggestions! You can find more information about the LIVE project on Instagram, TikTok and Facebook.