Meet The Volunteers-Bella
Meet The Volunteers - bella
- Age: 31
- Nationality: Indonesian
- Town / City: Manchester
- Placement(s): Loaves & Fishes; L'Arche
A little about me:
My name is Eka Isabella, and people are used to calling me Bella. Here, people confuse my family name. Is it Eka or Isabella? Both answers are incorrect. My family name is Tjok, but I never use it because in my country we are not required to have or use a family name for the formal document. Talking about my country, I come from Indonesia. I was born and grew up in one of those 17.000 islands in Indonesia, called Bangka Island. I feel very lucky that I grew up in this small island because it far from the city. I feel connected with nature, with the beaches, trees, and animals surrounding my homeland. This background really helps me during my stay here in England because I can find many beautiful parks and things of nature here to refresh my soul and my mind, and recharge my energy.
Why I chose the Vincentian Volunteers:
The mission of my life is together with God to find His will in my life and walk with Him to fulfill His will. In order to find God’s will, I am searching for my true passion, my deepest desires and my gifts that God has given for me to fulfil - His plan in my life.
I have studied some volunteering programs, and I think that VV program meets my needs at this moment. The VV program not only offers the volunteers the opportunity to serve and work with other people from different backgrounds and cultures, but also to offer some retreat programs so the volunteers have a chance to know themselves better and to know God deeper. I believe this program will be one of the most valuable journeys in searching for God’s will in my life.
Here I work for two Communities, Salford Loaves and Fishes (SLNF) and L’Arche Manchester. In SLNF my job consists of serving breakfast for the clients, the homeless and people who live in vulnerable circumstances; socialising with the clients; and serving lunch for them. In this placement, I learn to see that everybody is equal, so I have to be their friend and treat other people with respect and dignity.
While, in L’Arche I have two main jobs. These are supporting the disabled people in the L’Arche community house and working in the L’Arche's cafe called Hive. My main job in L’Arche is supporting and being with the disabled people, who we call the core members. I support them when having meals, changing cloths, and doing activities such as walking around the park, shopping or cycling in the park. In all these supporting activities, the most important thing is being present for the people.
My main job in the cafe consists of serving meals for the customers. Most of them are core members of L’Arche and their assistants, and people from the local community, especially old people. In this place, I am not only serving meals, but also socialising with people, being friends with the customers and the others volunteers. It is also very nice to learn the local community life and culture.
During these two months I find that everyday has its own story and is beautiful. I have many beautiful moments both in my placements and my Vincentian Volunteer community. I have to be attentive to hear what God’s message is and weave it day by day, so in the end of the program I can understand why God’s calling me to be here, what He wants to say for me, and what I should do in the near future in order to fulfill His will.
At this moment, from my work serving the homeless, the people who live in vulnerable situations and the people with special needs, I learn that by serving meals to other people, actually I am not feeding them, but the truth is that God is feeding me. By serving people, God feeds my soul with the very essential meals for human life that are unconditional love, care, joy, enthusiasm, peace, and hope.
And I also have a beautiful moment in my community with three other volunteers. We are a very interesting community. Four people are from four different continents and have very different characters as well. We bring our uniqueness, differences and gifts to complement the community life. God grants me new bothers, so I feel at home in a foreign land.