Karla Jimenez is 34 years old and she is a Civil Industrial Engineer. She was born in Temuco city and she has been living in Santiago since the last 3 years. For almost 10 years she was a hockey field player and also is passionate about photography, music, books and volunteer works – specially with kids and elderly. 

Nowadays, Karla prepares her suitcases to become the first volunteer that is going to Eswatini this year, with the mission to create a preliminary report of the most urgent necessities of the orphanage, which is the one that the foundation will start to collaborate in its next operation. 

A few hours on beginning her journey, Karla tells us about her motivations and expectations regarding to this new challenge in her life.  

—What is your interest on making a voluntary work? 

I strongly believe that helping a person to have hope, it’s invaluable, if we all contribute with a grain of sand, from each individual possibility, we could make a big difference in the life of children and families that live in poverty. That is the personal reason that motivates me to contribute to a more just society: to have the possibility to connect with needed people and create a space to give, at the end of the day, they give us the chance to learn from their experiences and how to face life, which I think it remunerates to any fulfilled effort; which is much more that you can give as a volunteer. 

—Why did you choose a voluntary work in Africa? 

In the years that I lived in Araucanía Region – the one with more poverty in our country – I tried actively to collaborate in voluntary works. When I got to Santiago, I looked for institutions that were committed to help the needy and by chance I met Africa Dream Foundation. 

Personally, I always had the dream to do a voluntary work in Africa, but I had the idea that it could only be done if you were a doctor. When I met the foundation, I saw the big opportunity that they provide to every professional that is interested on doing a voluntary work in the poorest continent in the world, where sadly the children work since they are 5 years old, instead of studying and playing. Hence, definitely, it is a dream come true. 

—What motivated you from Africa Dream Foundation? 

First of all, I think is amazing that they don’t close the doors to any professional if you compare it with other foundations or ONGs, and how they can contribute from their own knowledge. Besides, the receipt of the manager, the team and volunteers it is extraordinary and friendly from the first minute. They make you feel like home and it is a place where every idea it’s a contribution. In addition, the projects that are set up, seek to provide knowledge to the African people so they can have the tools to overcome the poverty without the support from any institution. 

—What do you expect to contribute in the Project that you will perform at Eswatini? 

The Africa Dream Foundation is giving me the chance and had trusted me to go as an engineer at Eswatini. My work will consist in collect information in a 200 children’s home, most of them in a disability situation, which I hope to transmit in detail of the reality of the place to the volunteers that are going to come after me, so we can create projects in this areas of health and education that can contribute the best as possible. 

—What message you would give to those who are thinking on doing something like this but they don’t dare? 

I strongly believe that this voluntary work in Africa is going to be one of the most important experiences that will have in my life and I invite them to do it. Life is one and now. The payment and personal growth it will be worth it, also, to have the opportunity to contribute, even at the minimum, to overcoming poverty in this continent, it is priceless. 

—What would you like to say to the Africa Dream’s partners? 

The most important thing is to express gratitude to the contribution to every one of the partners, because many professionals, of every specialty, can provide something to Africa, in my case to children who need it, since they are rejected and abandoned for being in a disability situation. Through our projects and thanks to their contributions, they are helping to change somehow the life of people from the other side of the world, where life is so tough and different from our reality. 

I also want ask to our partners, to invite their families and friends to become part of this noble cause, which its own purpose is to deliver tools the African people so they can leave that poverty circle, specially the children.