“The months spent at Sophia have helped me to bring together what I believe in and what I live: a more just world that with equality in diversity. Everything – the economy and political science classes and the opportunism to meet students and professors at Sophia from around the world – all of it has made me a different person inside. Then there was the work that made me more tolerant and aware of other’s needs, sufferings and joys. Now it is a treasure that has become part of me.” These words were shared by Valeria as she was being interviewed by the Brazilian journalist Valter Hugo Muniz concerning her year-long experience at Sophia University Institute of Loppiano (Italy).
“For me, working in the social field has always meant integrating my profession with my desire for a more fraternal world in which everyone’s rights are fully respected,” Valeria continues. “Before going to Sophia I had been working for three years as a social worker in the Borro Quarter, which is one of the poorest quarters of Montevideo (Uruguay) where families, teenagers and children live under extremely vulnerable conditions. I tried never to lose sight of my main objective of affirming the dignity of the people, involving them and creating social spaces where isolation could be overcome, and facing problems together through dialogue and collective action.”
Last December Valeria returned to Montevideo and has been involved in a project that focuses on children between the ages of 5 and 12, and their families. “The year spent at Sophia,” she concludes, “was quite intense in many ways. It was a turning point for me that required me to change. . . and the learning hasn’t ended. I’m still assimilating the new categories that I learnt there. I now see my activity as an on-going “walking together” in which it is necessary to see each other with eyes of genuine fraternity. What needs to improve are not only the material standards or the quality of life, but also the awareness of our common citizenship.”
In collaboration with: Valter Hugo Muniz