DILI, 05 december 2023 (TATOLI) – International Volunteer Day 2023 (IVD) is celebrated under the theme: “If everyone did… If everyone volunteered the world would be a better place.”
In this regard, Tatoli conducted some interviews with young Timorese people who are involved in volunteer activities that contribute to environmental protection, in particular plastic waste management to protect biodiversity and marine ecosystems.
Elígio Soares, the Coordinator of the Troops for a Healthy Environment Organization (Trobas), said that his volunteer activity has been carried out since 2019, mostly in Dili, through plastic waste collection programs in coastal areas, as well as an awareness campaign about the negative impact of waste on the environment: “Voluntary service is “a passion” to maintain a healthy environment in order to contribute to the conservation of biodiversity,” as the organization’s mission is to ensure a “protected environment and contribute to a healthy and more resilient society.”
“I get involved in voluntary service out of passion and commitment. I am aware that through this service I can contribute and benefit from my experience in personal and professional development in the future,” Elígio Soares told Tatoli in Timor Plaza, Dili. He stressed that the Trobas organization has 55 staff members and focuses on collecting coastal plastic waste in the city of Dili, as it is aware that this waste will have a negative impact on the survival of marine biodiversity.
The young man acknowledged that, although it is a voluntary activity, Trobas has established a partnership with an international organization, Mercy Corp, to implement a program to manage plastic waste in order to turn it into products with economic value. Elígio called on all young Timorese to get involved in volunteering to gain experience and develop new ideas that can contribute to their personal and professional lives.
“Volunteering is an initial stage to help develop a professional career in the future. Fellow volunteers, keep up your spirit, because the country and society need creative young people who care about the environment,” advised Elígio.
Madalena dos Santos Vidigal, 26, from the municipality of Liquiçá, a volunteer with the Red Cross of Timor-Leste (CVTL), highlighted the need to get involved in volunteer work in order to gain experience, acquire public speaking skills, help people who need first aid support, as well as contribute to campaigns to prevent various diseases.
She said that since 2021, she has been involved in volunteer activities at CVTL, Trobas and a youth organization of the Catholic Church: “Volunteering is a reference point for my career, because I acquired a lot of knowledge in this organization. With this experience, I was hired as an employee of the international organization ChilFund which my contract will end soon and now I’ve got a new job at Jack in Timor-Leste.”
Madalena recalled that she got involved in voluntary service two years ago, after finishing secondary school, since then she hasn’t continued her education at university: “For me, voluntary service is a privilege, because it can increase my knowledge and personal capacity to become a mature, high-quality young woman and turn me into a potential human resource for the country.”
IVD is a day to pay tribute to volunteers worldwide and to recognize the value of volunteerism in peace and development.
Journalist: Jose Belarmino de Sa
Editor: Filomeno Martins