Last Saturday (8th May) Bosco Volunteer Action (BOVA) welcomed two new volunteers to training in preparation for volunteering overseas with the Salesians. The training day was held in the Parish Centre at Sacred Heart, Battersea; a slight change of scene from our usual residential weekend at Savio House, but this gave us an opportunity to have a walk around Battersea and see the construction of the new school and community house, whilst giving our volunteers a chance to learn about the history of the Salesians in Battersea.
The day included input from Anita, Martin, and Venus, a returned volunteers who spent a year volunteering in Campo Grande, Brazil.
We ended our training with the vigil mass at the parish and a beautiful gospel that was very fitting for a training event for volunteers in preparation. The phrase that particularly rang true for me and my experience of working with our Salesian volunteers was 'It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain'. Most of our volunteers do go on to have fruitful learning experiences that come from serving the young and the poor in a new cultural context. Volunteers do bring these experiences back home and go on to use them to inform the next steps in their own journeys, whether personally, professionally or spiritually, and with our support throughout.
BOVA are always looking for new volunteers to come and have an experience of service and learning in a Salesian community overseas. We regularly send volunteers to India, Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, Cambodia, The Philippines, Mongolia, Bolivia and Brazil; and are continually seeking to meet the needs of communities whilst supporting our volunteers through reflective learning.