Hogar de Cristo is a organization where knowledge of social realities contributes to the breakdown of barriers that impede progress towards a more equitable and democratic society. These barriers are formed and reinforced by prejudices, stereotypes and fears that spread in a society that lacks space for meetings and other instances of recognition, beyond mere contractual and practical relationships.
Because of that, Hogar de Cristo promotes volunteer work supported by mutual benefit and commitment, and in a real communion with each other’s reality. We are not satisfied with the merciful type of volunteer whose philanthropy and charity arises from giving others their surplus. Nor do we settle for the showy and flashy volunteer work that makes poverty an object of experiential consumption, the style of “social tourism”, where those attending are motivated by the curious or the different. Much less do we promote volunteering to transform poverty into a satisfaction for the ego and for those who love to make use of this factor.
We seek instead a humane volunteer who is sincere and committed to actions that contribute steadily to change the social conditions that breed poverty and exclusion.
We want a volunteer who will rebuild the weak social ties between groups, who with critical capacity can demystify the social prejudices that increase the gap of inequality and who can lead by example, embodying the message of love for Christ in the suffering shown in the gospel.
This type of volunteering can be exercised in different ways, and there are many instances and options to promote it. We want those who, from their different positions and possibilities, are capable of living the experience. Some types of volunteer work we have promoted over the years are:
Family volunteer work is an opportunity for families that wish to participate in the purchase and assembly of houses or other social activities for the benefit of families in extreme poverty. This allows a dialogue and contact between realities that enables the building of bridges of cooperation and cooperation in the future.
School and University Volunteering:
The idea associated with this type of volunteering is that students from various schools and universities open their eyes to different realities by engaging in social development projects that put them face to face with poverty. This type of volunteer work seeks that volunteers commit to these realities and to play a decisive role in them.
This volunteer work comes from the solidarity of our members who belong to the village banking and health programs. These members, identified by their interest and leadership, receive training in health and nutrition. Once trained, they are responsible for contacting the families of their communities and sharing the knowledge they received from Hogar de Cristo. The Hogar de Cristo community volunteer work specializes mainly in two areas: medical brigades and community support. “Knowledge is not just individual, but with the individual seeks to construct social reality through the collective knowledge, relationships, leadership, and ability to represent and influence the decisions that affect us all.”
Resident volunteers are those who come from other countries to perform social work in our organization for a minimum of six months. Hogar de Cristo provides them with the necessary facilities to make their experience rewarding. This kind of volunteerism has benefited from good partnerships achieved with international agencies like América Solidaria in Chile and Voluntariado Pedro Arrupe – Volpe – in Spain.