“I used to be a Philosophy teacher at the Tournai university for a long time. After retiring, I didn’t want to stop working and get bored of staying at home. Then my friends Jean-Marie and his wife asked me if I wanted to help in their school “Dames de la Providence”. I found it a good idea and I answered “Yes” right away.

So, now I’m working at their school. I used to work here just once a week during the school year, in summer and winter. But since I had some health problems, I stopped working in winter. Now, during the summer holiday, I come here almost every day.

My daily tasks in this school are gardening and creating the playground for children. I always loved working outside in the garden; people usually say that I have green fingers. So this is a dream work for me.

I also love meeting and talking to new people from different cultures. Therefore, I’m so glad when some young volunteers come and work with me during summer time. I have neither children nor family but everyday, while working here, I can see children study and play on the playground that I built, witness of how they grow up day by day. That is true happiness for me.

It’s been 5 years since I started working in this school. It brings me joy and gives me the purpose of life although I don’t get any salary. I want to keep working here as long as I can because I feel happy when I can do something for the school, for the children and for the new generation.”

Edouard de Haan, 61 years old, volunteer at school “Dames de la Providence”.

Credits: An WuPhương Hà Trần

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