A changed individual with SCI
Written by Brelyantika Indra from Indonesia
“Volunteering is that moment when you forget that you are volunteering in order to help change lives because it is changing yours”
This sentence describes my experience joining volunteering with SCI because this organization changed my life. My first experience was Glucksburg camp, held in Glucksburg Germany from 11th August to 25 August 2018. We say “change” means big things but for me change starts with our mindset.
It was a long process before I arrived in Germany and joined in this camp that changed my perspective. Travelling far away, a trip of around 15 hours, wasn’t easy for me because this was my first experience going to Europe, especially for me as a girl. In my environment there are many stigmas that underestimate girls doing something, including travelling alone; this made many people believe that I shouldn’t go there. But one thing that I believed was that you don’t have limitations except for yourself making that limitation. One thing I knew in my heart was that this was a chance to change my life that didn’t come twice and finally my parents allowed me to join this camp.
Once I arrived at the camp I met 11 participants and 2 camp leaders from Africa, Asia, and Germany, and only me from Indonesia. I was worried that maybe I can’t adapt to them because we have different languages, habits, cultures, and also religions. But it was not true because I didn’t even feel that they were from another country because they are like my family that makes me feel warm and comfortable. This made me understand why we are created in different tribes, cultures, and countries: because diversity is not for division but unity. This camp made me understand more about life, life isn’t only about myself but also about other people’s life. We shouldn’t see where we come from, what color of our skin, because we are the same. This is why SCI did “volunteering for peace”.
The camp I attended was about climate change and renewable energy. We learned about the causes and solutions of climate change and different forms of renewable energy which made me care more about the environment. We were working together as a team and that developed my capacity to collaborate with other people from different countries. Not only working but we also did cultural night to share information on our country, playing games, making traditional food and feel that we are family.
One thing that changed my life after this camp was to realise that you shouldn’t underestimate yourself and other people. If I didn’t take this chance then I wouldn’t meet my friends that became my family now, I wouldn’t believe that I can do many things more than my limitation and show many people that girls can do it!
I did a talk show on 21st April 2019 to share my experience and spread more information about the volunteering program in my university; I hope many people will join and get an experience like me right now, that will change their life.
* This story was part of the the first SCI Stories contest “Voice yourself”. Brelyantika, thank you very much for your participation. Thanks to people like you, the SCI movement continues to be alive and positively impacting the lives of thousands of people!