There are times in one’s life when you just need to shuffle and deal again. That’s Claudia’s situation. Psychologist and mother of 4 boys, after a period of letting go of past schemes, she decided to start all over again. “It was a turning point in my life”, she explains. She lived by the Eastern concept that explains that a crisis can be faced as chaos or opportunity and decided to go with the second option. That was her opportunity to reconsider who she was and what she wanted to do. “This has to be used for something, something has to be taken out of this”, she thought.
Her job was not left out of the equation. “I made a decision on how to approach my job. It was no longer about getting paid or getting something out of it. I had decided to start what I had put off and to change the focus of my work”, she told us.
That’s how she found El Desafío -and how El Desarío found her. She learned about the Foundation from a news report on the TV that featured Mario Raimondi, Executive Director. “I felt identified with many of the things he was saying, I felt that the foundation had a vision very similar to the one I was looking for.” She wrote to Volunteers and attended the next meeting. She didn’t hesitate. “I realized that it was my place”.
The connection she felt towards El Desafio was so strong on that first approach, that she remembers thinking very determined “I’m not leaving until you tell me what you need me to do”. It was an urge to do something, to get involved, to apply her knowledge into something socially motivating.
Her outlook on investing time was a turning point to seal her strong commitment: “it was not the time I had to spare, but the time I wanted to dedicate to it”.
Claudia was not half committed, she wanted to give 100% of what she had to offer. It was not enough for her to go to the quarters once in a while or be a volunteer on a few events… she wanted to be immersed in mind and body, work directly with the kids, see what was going on with them, and help them in their evolution. Determined and committed, during 2012 and 2013 she volunteered in Garabato. As of 2014, she took charge of the workshops Garabato 1 and Garabato 2, and also Ocho, a cooking workshop. That’s how she lives daily, in direct contact with the kids and teenagers that go to the workshops. This is what she likes to do most and what makes her whole as a person.
In love with and passionate for was she does, Claudia is happy with the path she chose. She looks back and smiles with satisfaction, because she knows that she is where she wants to be, doing what she wants to do. She’s a whole woman, a true giant. Unconditionally committed with El Desafío, every day, she lives and applies the phrase: “It’s the time to do”.
Rumor has it that on the day of the Abanderados 2013 gala in Buenos Aires, a ceremony to honor distinguished people, Claudia was there and she was convinced that Mario was going to be the winner.
Then, only 8 members of El Desafío travelled. A very small number, compared with the rest of the candidates running for Abanderado del Año (“Guardian of the year”) who were accompanied by more people.
Even though the foundation had the support of many people who had voted them, in such a crowded auditorium, the chance of winning looked more and more distant. Claudia was convinced that they were going to win, but, at the same time, the excitement and nerves made her second guess if her expectations were to be fulfilled.
As they started announcing the personal information of the winner, Claudia was convinced and ecstatic, she repeated “It’s him, it’s him!”. Of course, driven by the moment, she doesn’t remember saying that, but everyone at El Desafío does and, amid laughter, remembers it as the anecdote of the night.
“For El Desafío, I’d like to be able to include other areas, to reach more children, to fulfil their expectations. I think that the kids lack many things, they have many needs. I wish that we continue to grow in helping teenagers so that they can develop to the full of their abilities. I think that the core of our work is with the teens, even though we also work with kids. They have so many challenges, we need to help them grow. We know that sometimes it is hard to fit in, so the fact that we can help them learn a profession is very important.”
“I’d love it if all the kids had the chance to choose, which is what my kids had. To be able to explore the possibilities, choose what they like, have the chance to develop.”