Let me introduce myself, my name is Ayeisha Indiano Rull and I am a volunteer of Proyecto Kieu. I am used to work in Spain, my own country, especially in the area of la Sagra, but I’ve been in Chaco, Argentina, for two months already.
I am hosted by OAJNU Organization thanks to an EVS project on the subject of community mediation. Both organizations have similar goals, working in the same field, that is community development: providing specific tools to their youngsters in order to reverse inequalities through educational projects. However, we deal with different problems and we act through different means.
At first, the biggest difficulty was for me the difference between the organizational structures. I am used to work supported by a more solid structure which is responsible for funding and the resulting development of project activities. This is the reason why at first it was difficult understand a less formal work pattern, supported solely by volunteers.
At any rate, after the adaptation period I started to understand the differences about work rhythms and projection periods.
While at Proyecto Kieu we have the possibility of developing medium and long term projects, OAJNU is more focused on short-term projects since the requirement of a long-term commitment may interfere with the life of volunteers, making the process difficult to follow.
Regarding the work tools within the organization, I highlight the use of google drive as a form of communication, information and dissemination within the team; the management of resources through companies’ donations and the sinchronization of information between the different venues by virtual means.
In June I had the opportunity to attend the OAJNU national Integration event: an open space to exchange experiences between the volunteers coming from the eight locations of OAJNU in between Argentina and Uruguay. The event is made in order to share the diagnoses of the different local realities, all the methods used, good practices and the operation of each individual project. It is also a space to rethink about the structure and the objectives of the NGO and that allows you to designing a strategy for the future year.
The event was organized in Falda, in the province of Córdoba, this year: 3 days full of workshops and discussion groups. We instead have presented the project Co.Med.Y. giving a community mediation lesson to other volunteers in which were involved: Alfredo Mattos (international projects coordinator); Valentina Bianco (volunteer coordinator); Rocío Domínguez (executive director Chaco); Chiara Amerighi (volunteer from PECO Italia) and myself. In this space we had the opportunity to reflect on how community mediation is used inside OAJNU and how we can use it more consciously and professionally in the future.
The Organization works with volunteers of different ages (5 – 30) who are both beneficiaries and volunteers. Furthermore, it works in synergy with families, teachers, management teams from different educational institutions, allied companies and neighborhood communities.
To sum up, I think that the collaboration between Latin America and Europe is positive because of the exchange of good practices, experiences and work methodologies. Despite the fact that there is still a long way to go, I hope that both organizations will continue to work together.
Ayeisha is the Spanish volunteer hosted by OAJNU in Resistencia, Argentina.