Voluntarism

Voluntarism

She was all about voluntarism and we will also be all about voluntarism on this day in which we commemorate her. Is there a better time than today to do something of the work done by this great woman, who made our country known throughout the world, when together, we start to draft a bill on voluntarism?

By Blendi Klosi*

Minister of Social Affairs and Youth of Albania

12 years ago, on 19 October 2003, I had the rare opportunity to be in Saint Peter’s square, when the unforgettable Pope, John Paul II, beatified Mother Teresa.

I was very lucky to take part in the Beatification of this great Albanian woman. It was a special Beautification and as never before in the history of the Church, it gave way to the path of Divine Sanctification.  

And this due to the fact that every mortal in the world believed that She, the Albanian Gonxhe Bojaxhi, was the symbol of help and respect for the “poorest of the poor”. Everyone knows that the Peace Nobel prize winner, became known worldwide as she said: “Not by doing great works, but by working on a daily basis for all of those who were in need”.

That Sunday in the Vatican, was one of those moments when one things that a divine force from above fixes things as they should be. It had been raining all day and when the mass started, the rain stopped, the heavens opened and gave way to a beautiful sun which lasted as long as the service.

Believers on the square explained this through their religious logic, but even today, I think that that day’s superstition was the spiritual power of Mother Teresa. God honored her work, because she served to the soul and not the body. This is why we have gathered here today not to hold speeches or to say what we have done, but to plan what we can do.

She was all about voluntarism and we will also be all about voluntarism on this day in which we commemorate her. Is there a better time than today to do something of the work done by this great woman, who made our country known throughout the world, when together, we start to draft a bill on voluntarism?

There’s no better time than this beatified day for us to start our civic contribution and engagement by promoting and further supporting the simple culture, human culture.

I know that there’s a debate going on as to whether voluntarism can be achieved through contribution or a law?

I acknowledge the question: does a written law make society more voluntary?

N Tereza

At the end of the day, we all know that Mother Teresa’s Order didn’t come as an application of a law.

This being said, I express my conviction that the success of our work will not relate to the law, but the debate to draft the law. The involvement of as many young people, public debates and voluntary action will be our indicators of success.

The drafting of a legal framework on voluntarism is very important, as it will have an impact in the development and further promotion of the culture of voluntarism, but the active functioning of the Voluntary Youth Corpus, which we promote today, would give life to it.

The engagement of the entire network of young volunteers would turn voluntarism in the Albanian tradition as part of the culture and society, into a civic engagement and would help in forging social bonds.

Based on the European Charter “On Rights and Obligations of Voluntaries”, a voluntary is a person who upon his free personal will, undertakes activities which serve society.

This is why we must get in touch with as many citizens as possible of this country, to write the chapters of this bill: For informal employment and education, for an active civic action and community services and also for voluntary social services.

Voluntarism encourages engagement to help society and meet the needs of others, marginalized people, children and unprivileged young people or different groups in need, social and community services, by promoting social cohesion, social involvement and integration.

*On the occasion of the Beatification of Mother Teresa by Pope John Paul II