ICUSTA’s Anniversary Was Celebrated in Valencia and Avila with Presentations by Volunteers
The Universidad Católica in Valencia (UCV) as well as the Universidad Católica in Ávila (UCAV) have commemorated the 25 years of our network with presentations on the voluntary activities of their students in Chile, supported by ICUSTA’s Solidarity Fund.
During the event at the UCV that fell within the framework of their Volunteer Week, four students shared their experiences which were carried out thanks to the contest, of which they were one of the winning projects, organized by the Solidarity Fund of ICUSTA, the worldwide network of universities inspired by the thought of Saint Thomas Aquinas. Thus, in the encounter there were also words of thanks addressed to ICUSTA, which celebrated its 25th Anniversary this year.
The consul of Chile in Valencia, Leopoldo Ernesto López Máñez, congratulated the Universidad Católica in Valencia for the voluntary work performed and inaugurated at the School of Nursing a photo exposition on the mentioned inter-university and international mission. The event was attended by the Vice Rector of Students and Social Action, Beatriz de Ancos; the Vice Rector of International Relations, Juan Carlos Valderrama; and the Dean of Nursing, David Fernández.
For their part, in an act at the UCAV, the group of volunteers presented their experiences in this humanitarian project undertaken in Chile to their fellow students. Among the students who spoke of their experiences in Chile was Remedios Vizcarr, a student of Nursing. For three years she has participated in these activities because “my heart was deeply moved, and I saw the need to get involved in the group.” “It’s an experience that when you try to speak of it, you can’t find the words. Everybody has to live it in order to know what it is. It has changed my life in every dimension and I am very grateful.”
On that occasion, they explained that at the Universidad Católica in Ávila volunteer work is part of the University Missions, which have as their purpose to be of service outside of Spain through different disciplines. In preparation of this activity, the UCAV provides formation during the academic year. Every week lectures are offered on human values or reflection, and once a month rural missionary outings are conducted. Students accompanied by their UCAV professors go to the province of Avila to visit the sick and attend to their needs. The missionary group also fulfills particular requests for companionship. It is an activity that simulates what they are later going to find in the international missions. Likewise, different events are held such as solidarity concerts, raffles or bazaars in order to raise funds for the missions. The integral dimension is fulfilled with the religious work, since the group shares faith and culture within the activity of the University Missions of the UCAV’s Pastoral Ministry.
- Mercedes Sánchez, the coordinating professor for the University Missions UCAV.
- Remedios Vizcarr, a participating student.
Last July, the volunteers of the UCAV and the UCV arrived at the Universidad Santo Tomás in Santiago, Chile, to take part, along with the students from the mentioned center, in the Voluntary Winter Work 2018, which was performed under the organization of the Office of Student Affairs of that institution. The university students were accompanied by professors and a priest to the mission. The work in the community of Alhué, 300 km from Santiago, Chile, focused on basic health services, pastoral care, and the reconstruction of houses of families without resources. During the second week they accompanied people who are at risk of social exclusion in the very poor neighborhoods of Santa Teresa, a populated district on the outskirts of Santiago, where families live in marginal settlements.