When I first discovered that I had been accepted to go on an ICS volunteer placement in Malawi, I was obviously extremely excited and grateful to be given such an amazing opportunity. However, a big part of me was getting increasingly nervous as to how I would be able to manage to maintain my vegan diet once in Malawi.
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Want a deeper insight into what an ICS placement looks like? Read the amazing blogs written by our past and present volunteers. Enjoy the journey!
Soon after writing my final year social work exams, I applied for a Progressio ICS volunteer place, which had been advertised by a local organisation. Aware of the fact that Progressio ICS brings together young people to make a difference in their communities, I was extremely excited to finally put theory into practice through working on community projects and responding to local community needs.
It’s week eight out of 10 in El Bramadero - 51 days in - and for the 50th time I’ve been drawn out of my sleep by the dawn chorus created by the weird and wonderful creatures around my home. Sounds romantic right? Wrong. The cockerels and chickens usually get things going pretty early on - normally around 4 o’ clock - but if they’re in a particularly sprightly mood they might get the ball rolling at 2.
Honduras: Una calurosa bienvenida
Durante esta semana tuvimos las siguientes actividades: fue nuestra presentación con los maestros y niños de la escuela y padres de familia. Tanto maestros como padres de familia se sienten entusiasmados con los nuevos proyectos que vamos a realizar en este tercer ciclo, en lo cual estamos muy ansiosos de llevarlos a cabo.
To celebrate International Volunteer Day, the UK San Benito volunteers, reflected on their progress, not just with the work they have done, but by the difference the experience has made for them and for those around them. Here are some of their thoughts:
International Volunteer Day is on the 5 December each year. It was created by the United Nations in 1985 to celebrate volunteers and their contributions in their communities and around the world. All over the world, hundreds of millions of people volunteer each year, spending their spare time sharing skills and improving lives. Together and individually, volunteers are acting as catalysts for positive change, so having a day to share their successes and promote their work is essential.
Choosing to volunteer abroad was probably one of the best decisions I have made in my adult life. It’s a bold statement for the first sentence of a blog, however, I can fully back it up and explain why volunteering was good for me and how it can be good for anyone and everyone out there (even you).
In June 2016, I was given the opportunity, along with around 30 other UK volunteers, to spend 10 weeks in Zimbabwe doing HIV and AIDS related work with Progressio, under the ICS programme. We were all assigned to different areas and organisations with different projects; mine being ‘Team M.A.C’, where I worked with the Matabeleland AIDS Council, six other UK volunteers, and seven Zimbabwean volunteers, throughout Bulawayo.
1 December marks World AIDS Day, and to acknowledge the significance of this day, I decided to look into the affect that HIV and AIDS has on Honduras, as well as the impact it has here in the rural community of San Benito. I first began looking at some facts and figures that reflected on the country as a whole, comparing this where I can with the situation in the UK. The statistics make for an interesting read and below I have highlighted some key points.
Amilcar Rivera Calderón School in Villa San Antonio, Comayagua, were humbled to welcome the British Ambassador to Honduras, Ms Carolyn Davidson, on Monday 21 November. Her visit was attributed to the work of the national and UK volunteers from Progressio ICS.
UK volunteers have been working together with the national volunteers since 26 September in the school; developing the school, teaching community classes and promoting key values, like gender equality, recycling and entrepreneurship.