Richmond Park COTA Thames Walk 2011

Sol Natalia started volunteering at the COTA office in November 2010. Here is her account of her time in the COTA Team:

Before hearing about COTA, my life in the UK was on a level plane: a regular English student doing all sorts of jobs to survive in this country… and with lots of plans and goals to achieve. But, just by chance, I found one day this great thing on the internet about a British organisation working for Colombian children. A really good feeling came to me about this, and I wasn’t mistaken. When I first stepped into the COTA office broad, warm smiles welcomed me. Since then, those smiles are always there not just to say hello, but the people working at COTA smile because they feel a joy and passion for what they do: BUILDING A BETTER WORLD FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS.

Volunteering for COTA has been a very gratifying experience for me; I have learnt that the smallest thing matters and that there is no wasted effort in working for those who really need it. Since COTA organised a Colombian coffee morning where people were sponsored to eat “hormigas culonas” (A traditional delicacy: Colombian fried ants), to the rigour with how they follow up on the projects, making sure they are truly working to improve Colombian Children’s lives; this makes COTA´s work absolutely remarkable and inspirational .

Now, sadly, I am leaving COTA UK, but the whole experience has left me with an enormous sense of satisfaction -to know that, on the other side of the world, there are people working really hard to achieve better things for Colombian society. I am also mesmerised by the massive support that COTA receives, the Thames Walk 2011 was an example of this; I realised how ordinary people like you and me are willing to do amazing things for children that they do not even know –because they believe in their potential. This is really touching and inspiring.

But not everything is sadness, because upon my return to Colombia I am planning on visiting some COTA projects. I would love to meet all the wonderful people that are working there and specially the children and their families.

So, if you cannot pinpoint Colombia on a map or if don’t know so much about Colombian children’s situation; I invite you to support COTA’s work because they are really doing something positive, they are truly dedicated to Colombia’s organisations with the aim of building a better tomorrow for many children.

Thanks to everybody in COTA not just for giving me the opportunity of working with you, but also thank you for the phenomenal contribution that you are doing in my country. To be part of your team has filled me of new energy to carry on with my dreams. Certainly being part of this organisation gave a new perspective to my life in the UK. I hope COTA’s work continues to flourish.

Yours faithfully,

Sol Natalia

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