An interview with Javier Martin
Director of La Semilla de Trigo Spain
What does the award you won honor?
Let me start by saying that we were both delighted and surprised to receive this award. This is the annual award for the organization active in social ministries in Spain that treats and manages its volunteers best.
Who is donating this award?
This award is donated by the Evangelical Network of Social ministries in Spain (Diaconia España), based in Madrid.
What is the purpose of the donating organization?
With this award Diaconia España honors and increases the awareness of ministries serving the community. A special focus is on serving needy people like refugees, poor families and children, immigrants, Roma communities, etc. This prize is awarded annually in two categories: for individuals and for organizations.
What is the purpose of the Social Volunteering Award?
Diaconia España intends to honor and encourage people of Evangelical background whose ministries focus on people who cannot participate in the society.
Normally, the award ceremony takes place during a dinner at which the award winners are introduced through an interview. As this was not possible this year due of the pandemic, a video was recorded to be delivering through the media.
How are the winners chosen?
Diaconia España conducts a survey among the organizations and projects in Spain, and then they decide who will receive according.
What motivated you to present Semilla de Trigo to Diaconia España for the Social Volunteering Award for organization?
In fact, it was not me but our former Vice-director who had the idea, I have supported the plan.
What is the benefit of winning this award?
Good question. As unexpected gift, I didn’t have any plan in my mind, but I can say that this award has encouraged. It is a recognition of 25 years of ministry in Spain in general and, more specific, of the way we welcome, treat and train our volunteers.
What have you learned in this process?
We have become even more aware of the importance to value our volunteers and to invest in them as a Kingdom’s value. They give a lot, so it is just fair that they receive something in exchange. It’s not about money but about a warm welcome, a valuable training and pastoral support. We want them to have an experience that has the potential of also changing their own lives not only the children’s.
Are you going to participate in this contest again?
For now, we don’t intend to do so. We want, however, use the opportunity, the process has given us, to talk more deeply with this network to explore better ways to cooperate in the future.
Will the work of Semilla de Trigo change because of your experience in this contest?
Yes and no. Yes, because we feel that our work in this area is recognized. We are more sensitive to maintain or even improve our standards. No, because even before receiving the award we believed in what we do with and for volunteers. We will keep working in the same direction, just with more conviction.
Is there anybody that you would like to give thanks to?
Yes, to the thousands of volunteers that have helped us over these 25 years of ministry. Without them, we wouldn’t have been able to reach most of the good things that we accomplished. They’re God’s hands and hearts for children most of the time.
Is there anything else you would like to tell us?
I would like to encourage both you and ourselves to take care of your and our volunteers. We should not just see them as the Heaven-sent help to accomplish our goals, but as precious people that God sends to us in order to learn from them, to take care of them, to know God better, and to grow into the image of His Son.