One of my highlights in Slovenia was visiting the organization “Soncek”. Soncek means “little sunshine” but I think they got the name wrong because they are brighter than any sunshine I’ve ever experienced in my life. The NGO radiates acceptance, union, hope, inclusion, compassion and love. I had the great opportunity of visiting with my team from WorldLife Experience and it was heartwarming to share my biggest passion with my wonderful team. We ended up having a party and dancing with everyone in the center and for that moment, we were all ONE. We think that we are “changing lives” but in reality, for me, every experience, every minute of work, and every person I meet along the way is actually changing MY life. “Sunshine” has taken a whole new meaning for me and they have become some of my favorite teachers in the last two months. After a few hours of dancing and chatting, it was time for us to leave and I didn’t expect that saying goodbye was going to be so emotional. Gaby, one of the ladies, hugged me so tight and didn’t want to let me go. When I looked up I saw tears not only in the eyes of people from the organization but also in those of my colleagues. The biggest lesson I learned that day is that you don’t know the difference that an hour can make in someone’s life.”
“In my opinion, it was the most significant day that we’ve had so far. I still have tears on my eyes. For sure, I will never forget our morning visit at the association for handicapped people. The NGO home, Soncek is a bright and unexpectedly clean place with an incredible atmosphere, housing 10 people with the different disabilities. The main person taking care of everyone and everything is Andrew. He introduced us to all the aspects and details of the NGO’s work. Afterwards, we made the acquaintance of the residents, who were peaceful playing at the table. Probably, what happened over the next few hours is the genuine essence of WLE project.
“On a tour around the home, Dejan, a man with Down’s syndrome, wanted to show Gema, Kátia and me his room, so he showed us his nice, spacious room, his photos, his football scarf, and his most precious objects. Then he put a hat on and told us he wanted to rap, so he put music on and we started dancing. More and more people heard the music and started joining us; it was really fun and he knew all the songs and was the best dancer of us all.
After a long time like that, we decided to move the party to the kitchen, so the other inhabitants of the house could join in. That is how we all ended up dancing and singing around the big kitchen table everyone with happy faces, us and them.
When it was time to leave, some of the people with special needs started to cry and we all felt heartbroken, but talking to my colleagues helped me, as one of them likened it to a kid really having fun at a party and then it's time to go home. I take away this activity and the people we shared it with in my heart.”
At the beginning, it was hard but somehow after a short while everything was really good, we were dancing, singing and drawing with them... It all sounds normal and natural, but it was not; it was one of the most profound experiences that I've ever had...”
All photos were taken by Aermoo M1 cellphone.