Updated: Nov 8, 2020
Anne-Maria Panzera is a Dental Hygienist by profession. Her work didn't focus on her field of specialization only but extended her duties beyond her capabilities. Anne-Maria works with immigrants and asylum seekers since 2015. "Working in a multicultural environment within a team has given me a lot of joy and fulfillment in the work which I'm proud to do". Her work experience in this field has required much more patience, love, and compassion which most of the asylum seekers and immigrants need to survive every day while they adopt and integrate into Finnish society. These are mostly social services assistance jobs where customers come from different backgrounds need proper orientation on the "how to do" process. It requires a lot of motivation, guidance, and patience to deal with each one who needs assistance.
"I have noticed that with my positive and supportive attitude towards them, it gets everyone to cooperate and be involved easily. For me, multiculturalism is wealth because I believe everyone's culture has something positive to teach and we can learn new things from each other."
During those times that Anne devoted her time working at the refugee camp in Kaupi, she noticed that life around us so rapidly moves that we are often unable to appreciate each fragment of it. Especially talking about the life of refugees, where the flow of stories flies behind us, in the blurry picture of a crowd, the cry of a baby, and the shout of a desperate mother wanting to end the pain and endless suffering because she is exhausted. We were not there during their struggles but they're here now. They survived to tell their stories. These people deserve a safe place to shape their life again. It's a hope that their stories of survival will give a message to humanity concerning their feelings, emotions, and memories, for the whole world to see.
Quoting Pope Francis once said: The list is long: "The cross of people hungry for bread and love, the cross of lonely people and abandoned even by their own children and relatives, the cross of people who do not have the comfort of faith and the cross of the elders who drag themselves under the weight of years and solitude, but also the cross of humanity that wanders in the darkness of uncertainty and in the darkness of the culture of the momentary, the cross of families broken by treason, from the seductions of the evil one or from the homicidal lightness and selfishness and the cross of the little ones, wounded in their innocence and in their purity." These are just a few among the many and we can't just stand, and ignore as if everything is alright. Things matter, either big or small. In our own little ways, we can make a change.
These are the words that inspire Anne-Maria the most. It's where she gained her strength because she believes that helping others who don't have the means can be uplifting to one's soul. We can't live each day pretending that these problems don't exist when in fact they are growing. Anne believes in humanity and hopes to post a challenge that there's more meaning to life if we do it with love and compassion.