The motivational power of Boroume #23

Sat 10 December 2022
Our volunteers remain our strength!

Katerina has been with us for the last year and a half. Always kind, cheerful and willing to support people in need, she uses her free time to participate in the Farmers' market at Panormou where she, together with the rest of the volunteer group, collects the surplus fruits and vegetables to offer to charitable organizations as part of the program "Boroume at the Farmers’ Market".

For Katerina, the difficulty in volunteering is the beginning. "As soon as someone begins to discover the joy of giving to people in need, volunteering very easily becomes a lifestyle." Not by chance for her, volunteering remains one of the best choices she has made in her life!

You can read more about our volunteer Katerina Kyriakopoulou in the following interview.

A few words about you:
My name is Katerina Kyriakopoulou, I live in Athens, I studied Biology and I am continuing my postgraduate education in Bioeconomy, Circular Economy and Sustainable Development. At the same time, I decided to dedicate some hours of my free time to volunteer work. In my effort to help people in need in an organized way, I discovered Boroume and learned about the work it carries out every day, on the one hand empowering vulnerable social groups in need and on the other hand reducing the environmental burden through food rescue.

Why did you decide to become a volunteer:
Through Boroume, I found the opportunity I was looking for. In other words, to contribute to society. So becoming a volunteer was something I did immediately. After a year of participating in the "Boroume at the Farmers’ Market" program, I believe that it is one of the best choices I have ever made in my life. If someone who is more shy and timid, but at the same time wants to do something to change the world, it is a good solution to try to do it through a group that acts in a coordinated, organized fashion and has a vision. In my case, that team was Boroume.

How easy/difficult is it to talk to someone about volunteering:
I talk all the time and would easily tell my friends and family about the hours I spend volunteering, but also about my experiences. Many times I even encourage them to take part in similar actions themselves.

What reactions are you getting:
The reactions I have received from my circle to date are varied. Some people think that doing something without financial reward is a waste of personal time, while others express their admiration for people who are involved in voluntary actions, as they would like to take part themselves. Unfortunately, due to personal obligations and the fast pace of life in Athens, they do not have this luxury. Although few have expressed a desire to follow my example, I truly believe that the hard part is always the beginning. When someone discovers the joy of giving to people in need, they will want to do it again and again, and that's how volunteering becomes a way of life. 

How easy it is not to throw away food: 
Not rejecting food is both easy and difficult. It is difficult because the over-consumption patterns that the majority of young people have grown up with, will have to be "uprooted". "Since the financial opportunity is there, let's buy more food than we need or throw away what we have left over". In order to stop this phenomenon, information about the economic, environmental and social consequences resulting from food waste is necessary, and the personal effort that is important for each of us to make to change our consumption habits. On the other hand, I consider it easy not to throw away food provided that we first understand the consequences of our actions and of course decide to adopt a new lifestyle. 

How would you describe the Boroume team in three words:
Selflessness, Joy, Organization. 

Share with us an incident from your participation in Boroume that impressed you:
I will not share a specific incident, as what always impresses me the most is the willingness with which farmers' market vendors offer food to be made available to people in need. Even when they have bad days at work, and their sales have not been going well, they are smiling, and offer with all their hearts whatever they have left to help. Seeing them strengthens my faith in people in general.