PUCRS international students join activities from Marist Volunteering

Students from Mexico went to the Casa Menino Jesus de Praga during academic mobility experience in Porto Alegre

06/02/2023 - 10h01

Photo: Archive personal

The international students who were at PUCRS thought the Academic Mobility Program during the second semester of 2022 had the opportunity of experiencing not only the classroom in a different context, but also to join the Marist Volunteering project, in partnership with PUCRS’s Pastoral and Solidarity Center. In the last semester, Psychology students from the University of Celaya, in Mexico, Johana Madrigal and Vanessa Marín acted in the Casa Menino Jesus de Praga.

The Marist Volunteering allows undergraduate and graduate students, graduates, professors and employees from the University to volunteer with the community of the metropolitan region of Porto Alegre, in fields like education, culture, health, social assistance and environment. The international students voluntarily chose to provide services in the non-profit organization’s laundry.

“I chose the place to be a volunteer based on my knowledge as psychologist. It was amazing because from day one everyone was very nice, they supported us like we knew each other our whole lives, this made the experience really fun, easy and relaxed. It helped me meet more people and it is a great opportunity to help those in need,” she comments.

Vanessa highlights what she learned with the initiative: “My experience in the Casa Menino Jesus de Praga was very enjoyable, in addition to being able to contribute or to help in appointed tasks, I was able to become more acquainted with Brazilian customs, through conversations I had with members of the institution, from which I take away many beautiful memories from what I experienced as a volunteer,” she adds.

According to the leader of the Marist Volunteering leader from the Pastoral Eduardo Damiani Pavin, the participation of the international students creates the opportunity for them to effectively experiment the knowledge they acquired in the classroom, enriching even more the academic and cultural exchange experience.

“Participating in activities such as volunteering is very positive for international students who are taking part in an exchange program in our University, because it creates the opportunity for them to get involved with the local community, learn more about our country’s culture, and develop important skills such as leadership, empathy, team work, communication and challenge solving. They are simple activities, but they have a great impact on the work, helping to improve quality of life of those who need it the most,” concludes Damiani.

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