The situation before joining Raizes
Before joining this family and community, I went to school but didn’t feel completely comfortable. I was a little shy boy with little desire to be in a large group. I had various insecurities that I always carried with me, which blocked me from meeting people, from being able to freely compare myself with others.
It was not easy to attend courses or find even a minimal job opportunity. And once you found it, one of the hardest things was earning the respect of other workers in the workplace. I continually felt like I wasn’t up to par with the others, like belonging to another group. Each situation was difficult to manage and therefore I didn’t experience the search and entry into the world of work in a serene way. When I entered this project and the community as a participant in 2008, I was able to grow and learn many things, first of all by getting to know myself and acquiring a remarkable awareness of my means.
How is the situation now
Entering this world has really changed my life and my outlook. Looking back, I can’t believe I’m the same person. I joined this community first as a participant and then as a worker and today I feel really happy. I am happy with the opportunities I have had, with the space and time that has been dedicated and granted to me, to be able to become who I am today. With some friends with whom I have shared this journey, we have created a non-profit association that deals with various sectors. We have been lucky enough to become part of a community, to grow a lot on a personal and professional level and we want to give the same opportunities to other young people, through our association, which aims to help many people.
Importance of the community
The community has played a key role in my personal and professional development. It was a wonderful thing to feel part of a family. I didn’t understand it right away, but step by step I felt more and more comfortable. Especially for people with different problems and who have low self-esteem, the community can make a vital contribution. Whatever I needed, I knew I’d find someone willing to help me, understand me, spend time with me. I felt and still feel part of this community, which I see as home. Waking up in the morning and feeling the joy of going to a place that feels yours is a beautiful feeling. I feel like I’m living a dream and sometimes I still don’t realize the luck I’ve had and the fantastic experiences and moments I’ve had with this family.
Characteristics of a good community
For me, the characteristics of a good community are many. The trust that must exist between the members is something of priority and fundamental. The availability of people, always ready to give you support, to whom you don’t even have to ask, because they understand you. Empathy is closely related to trust: day after day, in a community it is wonderful to see the connection between different people (regardless of their background, experience, culture, gender, etc.). Another gift they give you is time. Always being there is a fantastic thing, the best gift a person can give you. And understand how you are, your situation, your day. Flexibility is another feature that I consider important in a community: everyone tries to do their best to make the other feel good, to understand the other, regardless of their origins, their language and the context in which they grew up. We are all together.