Sofía Moreira is 17 years old, she was born in Tala, department of Canelones, Uruguay. From a very young age, she expressed her curiosity to know the world through education and interest in generating a positive change in the environment.
“I have always felt this concern, this that motivates me to want to do things, for myself and for others,” she enthuses as she prepares to tell us about her experience as a youth volunteer for América Solidaria Uruguay.
She met the organization almost by chance, in 2019. In Tala, people tend to interact frequently, because it is a small city with many green areas to share.
In his educational establishment, the Liceo José Alonso y Trelles, she learned the story of a student who managed to develop a great social project to help immigrant people living in poverty. She was so impressed by the positive impact of the project, that she decided to reach out to request more information.
Thus, she entered América Solidaria through the Concausa program, representing the Breaking Borders project. “As a child, I used to see volunteers in movies who dedicated their lives to social causes. And I thought: this is my chance ”, she adds.
There, she lived for the first time the experience of sharing with other volunteers and began to articulate, together with her colleagues, the first projects to support the development of her community.
After coming to the organization, she says, her perspectives on the environment and her position in society changed dramatically.
“I thought, why not do it? If these people are working to achieve change, and that is what I also want to achieve, why not contribute from my position? ”, She comments, describing what she thought in those early days as an agent of change.
“If I want it, it is possible. And if the others also want it, then it is already a fact ”, he affirms.
Through the implementation of social projects in her community, she experienced the transformation of her environment up close through the actions she carried out with her fellow volunteers.
“You tend to think that changing things is something difficult, however it is not. I have learned that age is not an impediment to having an opinion, defending it and exercising it. And that message, that conviction, we have brought to the communities. We have seen how, sometimes, it is enough to believe in the dreams of children and adolescents to be able to direct them to their realization. It is my commitment and that of all the people who volunteer”, she assures.
Later, she moved to Toledo, Canelones, very close to the capital, Montevideo. From there, she decided to continue as a permanent volunteer for América Solidaria, in order to develop both personally and professionally.
“I dream of dedicating myself to pedagogy, or psychology. I learned at the foundation that education is essential in the training stages, to open doors. I want to be able to help others to open them,” she says.
And it is that for Sofía, getting involved and participating in her community has had an important impact on her self-esteem and her perception of her abilities. “A space for dialogue is generated, in which I think: Oh! My opinions really make an impact. What I have to say is important, and no one is limiting me”, she says excitedly after commenting that, “within the organization, every volunteer and every idea counts ”.
Looking to the future, Sofía dreams of continuing to give her best and continue to be part of the transformation of her environment, but this time as a professional. “I would love to be able to join as a professional volunteer, and maybe visit other countries. I feel like there is no loss, I never lose anything. It helps me transform what is already in me, and in others. If this has such a nice end, why not help to achieve it?