Month: September 2008

A volunteer with Santiago’s children, 25 years later

The front door of Mi Club Domingo Savio

The front door of Mi Club Domingo Savio

Almost exactly one year ago I first arrived at Mi Club Domingo Savio, where I was to work as a volunteer for six months.  As a young and idealistic college graduate I had high hopes for my upcoming international volunteer experience, and I was counting on the fact that these hopes would offset my rather meager understanding of Spanish and the fact that I had not the slightest idea how to work with children, or if I would even enjoy it.

“Mi Club” Domingo Savio is the current incarnation of the Hogar Domingo Savio which first brought Steve Reifenberg to Chile in 1982 and as such provided the impetus for Santiago’s Children.  Until I decided to volunteer through VEGlobal, the NGO that coordinated my volunteer work, I had never heard of Domingo Savio and I knew nothing of its story.  But during my six months living and working in Domingo Savio, I became aware of the history of the place and eventually became quite familiar with the stories that Steve tells in Santiago’s Children. (more…)


Since my book, Santiago’s Children: What I Learned about Life at an Orphanage in Chile, was released in April by the University of Texas Press, I have received many generous notes – from both friends and those I have never met – about the book and about their own reflections on their journeys to be of service to others and draw lessons from those experiences.

Some of these notes have inspired a few of us to create a space for people to reflect and learn from others while thinking about trying to make a positive difference in the world.

Our hope is that this site will provide a space not only for people to respond to Santiago’s Children but also to explore a broader set of questions the book raises about the search for meaning and of being of service, and especially in the context of finding ways that connect our lives with important social challenges around the world. (more…)