By: Luis S., Work Study Coordinator, Christel House Venezuela
At Christel House Venezuela, I’ve had the privilege of being part of a unique project that has allowed me to participate daily in the formation of citizens for the past 7 years. I have watched our students grow into proud citizens, professionals and workers dedicated to improving their lives. I’ve had the opportunity to watch them progress from 10 and 11 year old children into university students. I’ve had the privilege of sharing their concerns, problems, mistakes, happiness and triumphs.
I have experienced many emotions and thoughts during my time at Christel House. I have felt the fear of knowing our students are in constant danger because of the inhuman wave of violence that affects our city, a threat mainly to young boys between 15 and 25 years old. I’ve felt the pain of crying for a student killed by a gang that had set out to murder one of his brothers. I’ve shared the suffering of parents who worry about daily survival and what the future holds for their children. I’ve shared the grief of families that just lost their homes and all of their worldly possessions in a sudden landslide. All of these experiences have changed me as a person. For me, it is not possible to be indifferent or to look the other way when people are suffering and there are so many major social problems. I know I must help.
From a personal perspective, it is easy for me to identify with our kids. I was born and raised near the place where they live. I experienced similar problems and family issues and faced the same threats. This background provides me with the strong conviction that the most effective way to break the cycle of poverty is with education and solid values.
Without a doubt, these have been the most important 7 years of my life. I can’t imagine doing any other type of work. My goal is to help other people to relieve their suffering, expand their opportunities and live a better life.
I am in debt to Christel House for giving me this incredible opportunity; the tools to provide support and advice to so many people and the opportunity to be a small part of their lives and give them help to face difficulties, choose careers, universities and jobs. This is how transforming people’s lives has transformed mine.