It´s not easy to leave behind everything one is used to. For most people it is unthinkable. Inés Vicente Barbero decided to leave her comfortable life in Spain to work as BOOKBRIDGE fellow in Cambodia for a year. In this interview, she tells us more about the motivation to leave her comfort zone.
Inés, who are you?
I am 34 years old and I was born in San Sebastián in the Basque Country, my family comes from the central part of Spain and I have been living in Catalonia (next to Barcelona) for the last 14 years. Three different regions with three different cultures and languages! I have also lived one year in Germany so I feel that I belong to many different places. After this year in Cambodia I hope I can add another country to my list of the places that I consider my home.
I am a social worker and I have been working with children and their families in the non-formal education field for the last 11 years. After having studied translation I could feel that it was not my biggest passion so I decided to follow another way that could lead me to do what I really am. Then I decided to study social work and I could find a job at the Fundació Salut Alta.
During my free time I like spending time and going out with family and friends, reading, travelling, going in the nature, practicing sport (especially I have been practicing taekwondo for the last 13 years), learning languages, learning about many different topics…
Tell us more about your story with BOOKBRIDGE.
If you know about the story of BOOKBRIDGE you will know about six scouts travelling to Mongolia in 2005. I was one of those six. At that moment I was not a scout because back in my country I had been involved with youth groups but not scouts. Then I became scout and I kept in contact with that group and especially with Carsten that brought BOOKBRIDGE into reality.
Why do you engage in BOOKBRIDGE?
Because I know BOOKBRIDGE from the beginning and I like what people are doing around that first idea of building bridges with books. I really like the way how open everybody is to improve not only as an organization but also as individuals. And also because I wanted to experience being involved in a social work but from a different perspective of what I had been doing until now.
What do you do at BOOKBRIDGE?
As I was part of that first trip to Mongolia and after that I was invited to become founder of BOOKBRIDGE. After having attended a couple of bridgebuilder summits and going back to Mongolia to do some volunteering work during summer holidays I felt that I really wanted to more. Then I joined the Capability Program and for the last months I have been involved with the CAP10 team Cambodia bringing SmILe Academy into life.
From this moment on I am also part of the bridgebuilders team as a fellow. I am going to volunteer for BOOKBRIDGE first supporting SmILe Academy in Siem Reap for six months and after that we will have to see together with the Country Manager Sokhan and Project Manager Monika where and how can I support better the different projects.