Colors 46: Volunteers

Sara Lewal, formerly a beautician in Kabul until the Taliban forced her out, now massages disabled refugee children back to health. In an Afghan refugee camp in Pakistan a volunteer swears by the healing properties of chicken fat.

Nelson Gómez aka Melissa Simpson, is a transvestite prostitute working the streets of Guatemala City. She often puts up with violence and abuse from clients and even the police. In between tricks Melissa hands out condoms to her colleagues and their clients in her attempt to try and stop one of the potential side-effects of her work– AIDS.

Weazrock, Crazy Belly and other members of Homies Unidos– ex Los Angeles gangsters back in El Salvador– are also busy doing their bit for their communities. Crazy Belly might pacify a man going through a child custody crisis while Claudia is busy sewing up a knife wound.

In South Africa, Bronwen Jones started Children of Fire Trust after she read the story in a newspaper of Dorah, a young girl who was badly disfigured in a fire. Bronwen stayed by her side in the hospital, and prevented the staff from extracting her fire-damaged eyes. The organization currently teaches fire prevention in the townships and rural areas.

2001 is the International Year of the Volunteer, so COLORS Magazine, in collaboration with United Nations Volunteers, has searched the planet for people who freely give their time and energy to help others. Some of these are featured in the global United COLORS of Benetton Campaign to raise awareness, others offer the reader alternatives on positive ways to spend their time.

A lot has been written about the benefits of volunteering. It is good for the economy, good for unemployment and even, according to one study in the USA, good for reducing the risk of heart attack. Which is why COLORS 46 features the stories and includes the contact details of the above and 100 more volunteer organizations across the world.

If you don’t find what are looking in the magazine, check It proposes hundreds more ways to help.

Now you really have no more excuses: when was the last time you did something for somebody else?


For further information:

+39 0422 516209