Meet Elijiu Gomes from CVTL Bobonaro Branch who has been a volunteer for over seven years.
CVTL Comm’s Officer Guido caught up with Elijiu to find out why he became a volunteer and how he is finding JUPRO.
I’m loving being at this year’s JUPRO and excited to be in Baucau – even though it’s a little cold. I’ve been lucky enough to attend all four Youth Camps that CVTL has held over the years. It’s fantastic to meet new friends and to see old friends again. I especially like it because it is a way of getting new volunteers to join CVTL.
Being a volunteer with CVTL gives me many opportunities; yes, we don’t get any money for volunteering – but we get so much more. We learn so many things and gain experience which is hard to get without a job. We have responsibilities as a volunteer; we go into rural communities, which are often remote, and share information about things like nutrition and how to prevent diseases like dengue. Many have never learnt these things before. We create a positive social impact and help change people and families to have a healthy life. It is so rewarding.
What really motivates me is the diversity of things we learn. We work closely with the CVTL staff and learn things like administration and how to work with other organisations; it really tests us and builds our skills and tests us mentally.
And I love that I can be part of the JUPRO. After the opening ceremony, all the VIPs came round to meet the youth volunteers and visited our tent and looked at all the activities we do in our branch. They saw the creativity of the youth and it was really satisfying.
I really hope CVTL continues in the future to have JUPRO. While everything doesn’t always go smoothly like problems with electricity and water – it doesn’t dampen our enjoyment, hope and enthusiasm.
Elijiu Gomes is a volunteer with Cruz Vermelha de Timor-Leste (CVTL) based with Bobonaro Branch, close to the Indonesian border of West Timor. He is attending the 4th CVTL Youth Camp, JUPRO (Juventude Productivu) in Baucau Municipality – with nearly 900 Red Cross volunteers from across Timor-Leste, Republic of Korea, Singapore and Indonesia. The theme of this JUPRO is “Highly Effective and Sustainable Humanitarian Action”.