HomeBlogZure Etxea: MatiaZaleak. Volunteering at Matia

Zure Etxea: MatiaZaleak. Volunteering at Matia

Today, December 5th, International Volunteer Day, seems to us to be the best date to talk about the figure of the volunteer in Matia, people who come to our centres to share the most valuable thing they can offer, their time, and who thus generously contribute to improving the well-being of the people who live and work with us.

During 2016, 2949 volunteers collaborated in Matia Fundazioa's centres: 74 people with weekly accompaniment, 976 children and young people in intergenerational programmes, 1685 people with cultural activities, and 192 people on outings. These figures speak for themselves of the importance and the number of people and voluntary associations that share and align themselves with the same purpose: "To accompany older people in their ageing process, to improve their wellbeing".

As a direct thank you to all those people and associations who collaborate with us, to all of you, to all those who have been there on other occasions, to those who have been able to give, to those who value people and relationships, let this graphic material, which we are making public today, serve as a tribute.

"Zure Etxea: MatiaZaleak", is a documentary that brings us closer to the lives of four volunteers: Koro, Ane, Iñigo and José. Through their story and reflections, we immerse ourselves in their lives, their feelings and their personal experience of volunteering.

This is how we discovered that it pushed Íñigo, one of the promoters of the "En Bici Sin Edad" project, to pedal on an adapted tricycle, taking older people on a ride through the streets of Donosti. "The human being needs to feel necessary. My weekly volunteer morning gives me a lot of energy. I learn from the elderly, I am enriched by them".

Or José, Nagusilan's volunteer in Argixao, who talks about the enormous personal satisfaction he gets from volunteering, and how he would like to be cared for the way he does: "I differ from many thoughts that say 'this one doesn't know anything'. Be careful, because if you hold his hand or give him a caress, of course they will find out, we are the ones who don't find out, and we don't want to see it.

But as Ane, a student at Axular Lizeoa, says, through a volunteer programme she accompanies Paco, a resident of the Rezola centre: "When you're with him, you're very comfortable", and she reveals the personal discovery that this intergenerational meeting has meant for her: "Sometimes it seems that the elderly are aliens, because they take many years off us, but that's not the case. In the end, we all go through the world, even if it's in a different time. They are the same as us, they need the same as us. And it's nice to meet at different times in the life cycle.

"We think too much about ourselves, without thinking that others need us too", concludes Koro, a volunteer from the Oiartzun Parish in the Petra Lekuona centre, "It's not that we have too much time and say 'I'm going to do it', but that we know how to use the time".

Our four protagonists are one more example of the many people and associations that in different ways contribute to making the lives of the people who live and work in the centres better, and for us they are MatiaZaleak. You, MatiaZaleak, give meaning to such important terms as: dedication, commitment, relationship, community, respect, dignity, personalisation, solidarity...

Thank you Koro, Ane, Iñigo and José. Thank you for telling us in such a natural way what volunteering is for you. Thank you to all the people who live in the centres for teaching the illusion that one has to live with. Thanks to the workers for doing everything they do and as they do it.

We would like to take this opportunity to encourage all of you who also identify with the purpose of Matia Fundazioa to join this exciting project, an initiative that is constantly under construction thanks to the participation of everyone and which is reflected in many different ways.

More information: http://www.matiazaleak.net/

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