What it’s like volunteering for Children Change Colombia

During my time volunteering for Children Change Colombia, I helped with various tasks such as translating case studies for the website, which gave me a true insight into the work they do alongside their partner organisations. Through translating these case studies of young people my age, or sometimes even younger, who have been through situations I hope never to have to experience, I got to fully understand why the work CCC is doing is so important.

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My name is Lina, I’m 18 years old, I was born in Bogotá, Colombia, and whilst I wouldn’t say that I come from a very wealthy family, I would say that I am a privileged person. I don’t say this to boast, but so that anyone who reads this story and who comes from  a similar, better or worse situation to my own bears this in mind and  can understand my point of view.

following the recent peace process that took place in Colombia , lots more information has been published about ex-combatants, about those people who are still linked to the armed groups. Information has been provided about the conditions they were living in, the things they were doing and generally what their day to day life entailed. Thanks to this, people like me, who fortunately have not truly suffered due to the conflict, have been able to understand in some way what the lives of these people were like.

However, the information is only that; information, numbers and statistics, when really it is people who are behind those numbers that is important. We probably all know this already, but we don’t understand it, we don’t internalise it. Or at least I didn’t fully internalise it until I read and translated and  the individual stories of the young people that Children Change Colombia and their partner organisations support.

To conclude, I think it is extremely valuable to not only be aware of the facts and the figures relating to the conflict, but also to look into the lives of the people who are currently trying to reintegrate into our society; to do everything possible to understand this situation in which thousands of people find themselves, knowing nothing else but fighting to survive; and above all to try and put ourselves in their shoes before judging their life decisions and rejecting them.

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