Third Summerjob in Slovenia, against poverty

28 October 2016

The experience of some young Slovenians who decide every year to spend their holidays helping those in need. The event this year was in Vrbje.

 The International Day for the eradication of Poverty was commemorated on 17 October. It was instituted by Father Wresinki in 1987, when he organized a great human rights demonstration in Paris. Poverty is manifested in various ways, incarnating situations, places and entire populations. We will never get used to the fact that there are human beings who cannot enjoy a life worth living.

In winter the Youths for a United World of Slovenia dedicate themselves – among other activities – to organising “Summer jobs,” in a summer work camp: in pursuit of the needs of the place, to make various contacts with the mayors, bishops, parish priests and persons of a given locality, to see how they can give their own contribution during summer, to help people in need. This year, in collaboration with the local Caritas association, people and families who needed very concrete help were sought out.

slovenia2They organised an end-of-summer event from 15 to 20 August in Vrbje, a small village close to Celje. This third edition saw the opening of nine work sites. About 40 people dedicated themselves, seven hours a day, to many activities such as work in the fields, renovation of the courtyard of a house, construction of a chicken coop, restructuring of a disabled woman’s home, preparing aid for the population of Macedonia struck by floods or whitewashing the house of a woman living in miserable conditions.

This was all a specific way of putting fraternity into practice, weaving deep relationships with the local folks, and restoring to many, that dignity they often feel to have lost. The decision to share some of the situations and try to bring relief to those who live at the outskirts of society is a demanding choice which requires time and energy, but it is above all the choice to give of oneself that started up the initiative.

Some of the participating youths wrote about their deep impressions: «It was precisely the more difficult jobs that made us understand how most of the time, relational problems lie at the roots of poverty. For example, with a woman, even if our work had already been defined, we spent more time on the first day, only in getting to know each other, so she could trust us. Only later did she allow us to work on her apartment which needed all sorts of things».

There was a lot of time for listening, speaking with many and having an exchange of experiences, worries, and future projects. All this came about in an atmosphere in which all helped each other in utmost readiness, and as a consequence, with the fullness of joy.

But the Summerjob did not only consist in work: in the evening everyone shared the experiences lived during the day, and these were solemn, engaging moments that bound and united the participants more and more.

slovenia3Other impressions were: «Upon saying goodbye on the last day with the “employers” we suggested having coffee together to see the photos of the summer camp. It was a mystery what we managed to build in just four days. It was a really impressive moment!

Just to think that in the end, the person who receives more is always the one who gives with joy.

See the page on facebook of the Summerjob Slovenia 2016

 

 

 

 

Source: focolare.org

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