Yelena is from Russia and has settled into her new home in Washington, DC. Here she reflects on her GLEE volunteering activity for the month of September: Service Learning. DC students made posters and volunteered at the Stop Modern Slavery Walk organized by a local community group – DC Stop Modern Slavery.
It is so hard for me to believe that I have lived in the US for more than 2 months. I have started a new step in my life, full of interesting, unusual and sometimes even confusing things! Each day here is a good chance for me to do something new and I try not to waste any opportunity.
One of the recent opportunities on the FLEX program was to volunteer in a protest against modern slavery: the trafficking of people. Before this, I can say that I had never really thought about slavery, and the unique associations with this word. The first things that came to my mind were connected with ancient times, like serfdom and autocracy. But the problem of slavery in fact exists even today and its scale is huge! Did you know that 1.2 million children become victims of slavery every year, or that between 14000-17800 people are trafficked into the US annually? I personally was shocked when I saw these statistics. Therefore, I think that projects such as the Stop Modern Slavery Walk are necessary for society. Their mission is to provide information and show that you shouldn’t be indifferent; that only together can we save the future and ourselves!
I really liked being a volunteer; I helped people and people helped me as well. Their smiles made me happy, and their kindness drew me to them like a magnet. They all gathered together, and they were different kinds of people united as one to make the world better. Before I have never really done anything like this, but I realized that I really like to help people. I think it was a good opportunity for me to learn about world problems, and it can be useful in the future and possibly in my career.