Living the organisation’s goals to its fullest

A brief story of my experience volunteering for AIESEC in Mendoza, Argentina this summer and how the work of the local committee there provides an encouraging example to all of us

Welcoming Culture

“Our place is open to anyone that is seeking refuge in our city and can’t afford or simply doesn’t have another place to stay yet”

This phrase was the response that one of the Catholic Fathers that run the “Hogar del Migrante”, a home for migrants and refugees in Mendoza, gave me when I first asked him about which people may live in their residence. Suchlike have been rarely heard across Europe since Angela Merkel’s famous “Wir schaffen das” speech three years ago, though in Argentina the climate still appears to be much more welcoming towards people that have fled from facing unbearable conditions elsewhere.

How this attitude might change once the ever-worsening economic situation in Venezuela pushes more and more migrants beyond its direct neighbour countries towards Argentina remains to be seen. However, the warm and welcoming nature I experienced in the “Hogar del Migrante”, in which I worked for six weeks as an AIESEC volunteer, was a pleasant characteristic of nearly all people I met during my time in Argentina.

So many different countries: Global Village of AIESEC Mendoza

My Volunteer Project

Being quite new to AIESEC and its goals and purposes, I got to know AIESEC as an organisation which organises internships and intercultural exchanges worldwide, similar to what I knew from when I went on a student exchange during High School. Applying for a Global Volunteer project with AIESEC, I of course wanted to make a positive impact on the local community and help wherever I could to improve the situation of the people that I would work with, more specifically the immigrants in Mendoza.

However, I had never imagined the scale at which AIESEC can have an impact on such a wide range of societal issues like it was the case in Mendoza. Being the first AIESEC volunteers at our immigrant shelter, I, together with other volunteers, coming from Brazil and Colombia, set up the first website for the institution as well as several social media accounts in order to get its name “out there”. This was crucial as help is always needed in the shelter, operating without any governmental support.

With one of the other volunteers, having a great talent for video editing, we were able to make the website and social media accounts look more attractive. Next to that, we also helped organising cultural events in the shelter and even motivated some of its people to participate in AIESEC’s Global Village.

Parade after a Catholic service for the Bolivian community
in Mendoza, supported by the “Hogar del Migrante”.

AIESEC in Mendoza’s Impact

However, the help of AIESEC in Mendoza is not solely restricted to the city’s immigrants but goes much further, with projects ranging from educational projects for children of many different ages to even providing help to the dogs in the street. To keep all these projects going, a considerable number of volunteers are coming to Mendoza each year, with volunteers being in the city all year round and at peak times rising to numbers of up to 70 people at once.

Having fun at our weekly volunteer meetings.

Considering that all these volunteers need to be accommodated and cared for, the work of the people of the local AIESEC committee in Mendoza cannot be valued high enough, with some AIESEC members hosting up to 4 volunteers in an apartment that many spoiled Maastricht students would barely consider large enough for just themselves and others encouraging family members like parents and grandparents to host volunteers.

All this comes with no monetary compensation in a country whose inflation has driven the price level to standards ridiculously high compared to what people earn.

Exploring the “Alta Montaña” of the Andes!

My Conclusion

So, next to having a great time with all the other volunteers and AIESEC members in Mendoza, going out partying or gathering in the city nearly every day, the other volunteers and I could also have a truly positive impact on the local community and help where help was actually needed. For that, I just want to give the credit to AIESEC Mendoza and its amazing people and say thank you very much once again. They are living to the full what AIESEC as an organisation is really all about.

This post was written by Fabian Biermann. Fabian went on a Global Volunteer project powered by AIESEC in the Netherlands. We offer international volunteering projects and professional internships with the aim of developing leadership in youth. 

Read more
Organising the Global Health Cycle

Organising the Global Health Cycle

Hi! My name is Julia and I am the Selection, Preparation and Reintegration Manager of the Medicine Project. Roel Hulsman (the SPR Manager of the Health Project) and I created the Global Health Cycle to keep our exchange participants engaged with AIESEC in times of...

The power of cultural intelligence

The power of cultural intelligence

A third type of intelligence, only introduced after the start of the 21st century, is CQ; Cultural Quotient, or cultural intelligence. Every person’s cultural expression (e.g. their way of speech, beliefs, norms, body language, rituals and so on) are influenced by the cultural society they are or used to be part of. Due to this unique, intrinsic collection of culture every person carries with them, we are all different.

Connect Youth: Purpose Driven Networking

Connect Youth: Purpose Driven Networking

Covid-19 triggered us to be more creative in finding ways to finding new ways to create value for our members and to make use of the possibilities that the online world has to offer. Hence, we wanted to create an inspiring online network event for our members. An opportunity for them to connect to the national network and to get to know different types of organisations in a valuable way.

What is Climate Change?

What is Climate Change?

Climate change is defined as a shift in the average conditions of global or regional climate patterns over approximately 30 years. This causes global warming and unexpected weather conditions in every country on every continent.

6 Ways to Improve Your Productivity

6 Ways to Improve Your Productivity

Ugh, Corona, right?  I mean, it has been going through our conversations all year. And this small thing has kept us home for such a long time. OH MY GOD! I felt like my brain had lost its will to work for the longest time. However, this blog will hopefully help you to...

6 Simple Tips to Contribute to a More Sustainable World

6 Simple Tips to Contribute to a More Sustainable World

We only have one planet. If we continue to behave like we have in the last years, this planet as we know it will not exist for our off-spring. If this misuse of the resources continues in the future, chances are that our planet might become like the other seven...

Una experiencia para nunca olvidar

Una experiencia para nunca olvidar

At the start of July 2019, my sister and I took the big leap to pack our bags and visit our family in Colombia. During this time I was still deciding on doing a volunteering job for AIESEC. It was my luck to have my sister as my AIESEC exchange participant manager....

The Importance of Self Awareness for a Leader

The Importance of Self Awareness for a Leader

We often try to identify our existence with our position in society, friends and family, our desires of our body and the emotional and intellectual expressions of our mind. For instance, we might introduce ourselves as ‘I am a business administration student, I have...

Interested?

Take the first step.

Book a free consultation call in one of our cities to explore your opportunities!