“Integrity, transparency, the desire to help others and a good work environment are ever-present in the day-to-day operations of Association Dianova Spain”
The International Volunteer Day (IVD) mandated by the UN General Assembly, is held each year on 5 December. It is viewed as a unique chance for volunteers and organizations to celebrate their efforts, to share their values, and to promote their work among their communities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), United Nations agencies, government authorities and the private sector.
Interview with Sara Mendogni, volunteer at Dianova Spain
Article originally published on www.dianova.es – Sara Mendogni is a young Italian who was born in Parma; she is presently a committed volunteer working at the organization’s headquarters in Madrid, on the basis of a European exchange agreement. We exchanged ideas with her on the occasion of the International Volunteer Day.
What’s your job at the association Dianova Spain?
I am dedicated to the development and implementation of projects. In addition, in a few months I will develop a training course on soft skills for young people from the European Union as part of a youth training programme.
Could you tell us about your experience in a socially oriented project?
First of all, I’m very excited to be here and to be part of this exchange programme. To me, it’s like an open window for innovation and connection between my personal life and my professional counselling experience in helping and providing guidance and assistance to people, within an organization with an interesting reality and a profound social interest, such as Dianova Spain. I also consider this experience as an opportunity for personal, cultural and relational growth… at many levels.
I also hope that I’m able to provide quality services for the association. I try every day to step out of my comfort zone and bring value beyond the everyday tasks I perform, which means that I endeavor to work both with my heart and with my mind and I try to learn everything I can in a context that is quite new to me. Luckily, I find this all quite easy, because I’m surrounded by people with great human qualities and professional values. Integrity, transparency, the desire to help others and a good work environment are ever-present in the day-to-day operations of Association Dianova Spain
What does it mean for you to work at Dianova?
I am learning how important corporate social responsibility is for any organization and the impact of the organization’s services on people. I’m a professional counselor, which implies that my activities are aimed at ensuring the well-being of people, beneficiaries and human resources alike. Thanks to this experience with the organization, I am well aware of the importance of values such as solidarity, respect for the environment and good relations between people and their social networks, and attitudes such as empathy and personal relations.
Do you have any advice to someone who is thinking of volunteering in NGOs?
For me volunteering implies a wish to contribute not only at the professional level, but also in offering the human and relational sides of one’s contribution, as a social responsibility.
People wishing to have this kind of experience have to be very clear about what they’re willing to give. They must be aware that what they give is going to have a positive impact on society and other people. The engagement of NGOs like Dianova in Spain demands tremendous efforts to address the needs of people at risk of social exclusion or that of other disadvantaged populations. At the same time it is very rewarding because you’re able to help people who truly need your help.