“Volunteering with ATD convinces me that there are tangible solutions”

People in poverty make choices every day to look out for one another and defend the inalienable dignity of all. Their efforts can be boosted by support from people from all walks of life. Some, like Celia Consolini, choose to offer this solidarity through volunteering with ATD Fourth World. To mark International Volunteer Day (5 December), we want to celebrate those who offer their precious time and help to ATD. Below, you can read our interview of Celia Consolini, who volunteered with us one day a week from September 2022 to October 2023.  This interview is also part of in our 2022-2023 annual review.

How did you hear about ATD Fourth World?

I had probably heard of ATD even before I came out of the womb. My parents were, and still are, both very involved with ATD in France. I remember participating in multiple projects while growing up: notably, a campaign for children to create their own silhouettes. I
also participated in ATD’s ‘Street Libraries’ in Noisy-le-Grand (France) when I was in high school.

When I moved to London in September 2022, I immediately wanted to be of help to the UK team. I started volunteering in with the Addington Square team every Friday, as well as some weekends.

What attracted you to ATD?

I have always admired ATD’s participatory approach to solving inequalities. In addition, with ATD, I know that I am making meaningful and lasting change, and I feel that I truly have an impact on society.

Can you tell us about your volunteering experience?

I mainly assisted with the Together in Dignity project*. I have participated in several Family Well-Being Days, where we plan games and crafts for parents and children. I particularly delight in seeing families enjoy the activities we have previously tried out for them, and I am often amazed at how creative everyone is.

I also helped with other projects when they needed extra hands, be it by cooking, taking photographs, or writing articles. I am thankful for everyone in the London team, who have been extremely welcoming, offering constant support.

What stood out to you?

I hold dear the true connections I’ve formed with families and activists that I see in multiple projects. More broadly, it is ATD’s participatory approach that fills me with optimism and motivates me to keep working towards social change. Volunteering with ATD convinces me every day that there are tangible solutions to reducing

* In October 2023, Celia began working full-time in ATD’s Together in Dignity team.