Reflections from the November Mission

This was submitted by Micael Pinheiro, a young volunteer originally from Portugal, now living in Switzerland. Thank you for sharing Micael! 

Title: Objectives, not dreams

What I believe in?

I believe in people. I believe that an ambitious idea (like stopping world hunger) is only a cliché if people look at it like that. If the world is not a better place it’s because some people make it like that, and others allow it. Only we can truly change that. And if you think you are too insignificant/small to make a change, consider the following words of Mr. Dalai Lama XIV: “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”

I didn’t go to Jordan in order to end poverty, as I am well aware that such objective is not achievable in one week and by a small team. I went in order to have an opinion based on reality. I was so tired of sitting comfortable on my classroom desk, speaking of humanitarian crisis like I knew exactly what I was talking about.

We all watch the suffering of these people daily on TV; but the fictional nature of this news’ source doesn’t do any justice to the real counterpart.

Happiness, sadness, joy, and anger; all these feelings combined are the recipe of what I felt everyday while playing with Syrian young refugees, while witnessing all the suffering around me. I felt more than sympathy for them. Some part of me is present on them. My father being an ex-refugee and me changing countries because I had too.

Difference is my father now has a family, a new home, a job, and I moved from a country to another by choice, and I can come back whenever I want. Actually, there is no comparison here only that for the children it’s a worst case scenario of my life.

I have to confess that during my activities with the children I totally forgot where I was and with who. We were so happy just playing around, laughing, just like a normal kindergarten, like nothing was wrong. But even though they were smiling, their eyes were filled with sadness. All they wanted was someone to play with, someone who knows their name and where they are from. “I want my name written on my face, along with the Syrian flag”, they all requested to me, stating that they are individuals and have a homeland.

And what homeland is that? A place turned into rubble by the greedy, selfish and terror hand of its president and opposition fighters. Both responsible for the destruction of hope for our brothers from another border. Are we powerless to do anything about it? Of course, if you stand by and watch.

So, what did I learn with the whole thing? What lessons can I take from a trip that I still can’t put into words? The less people have, the more they give. And when people have absolutely nothing, even the smallest gesture can literally save their lives by giving hope and strength to continue. The more people’s happiness is attached to material goods, the less humanity they have. Happiness must be found in each other, so that if there is sadness on us, it is because our next neighbor is not ok.

I’m a simple 22 year old kid working as a barman in Switzerland who came to their aid. Now imagine what others can do. Our team was of 20 something good willing people with different backgrounds and the same intention. And we can be 50, 100, or 1000. Helping does not cost, nor is impossible. Start by turning dreams into objectives.

Micael and the boys
Micael and the boys
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