Marija Maletin – Slovenia 🇸🇮

Voluntary work for CARITAS

I’m Maria I’m 77 and I live in Ljubljana. When I got retired I got excluded from the world of active people which made me suffer. Now, the Senior Award Program encouraged me to take on voluntary work for CARITAS. I am working in a warehouse where we store second hand clothes. CARITAS being catholic organisation we all celebrate Christian festivals when we all come together, dine together and attend lectures given by priests and professors of theology. Encouraged by the Senior Award Programme I also joined a programme for those who suffer of diabetes. There is a group of older ladies I am leading, and we exercise together, chat and then I feel better and healthier. You must become needed to feel well.

I am also attending a course on demography and major social changes. Slovenian U3A encouraged me to take part in the Senior Award Programme and that has really made a difference in my life. I feel more confident because I have gained new communication and counselling skills: how to remain silent, how to listen, how to reflect how to build a rapport with people I help. I have learned that now that I am old I can be more open to people and new experiences. I like volunteering. It’s fulfilling. I have discovered new things about myself. And I will continue being a part of this Senior Award Programme.