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What is a life changing volunteer experience?

  Juri

Trained at DRH Lindersvold, volunteered in Malawi

I worked all my life in social areas but I was fed up
with people talking more than doing. I saw
and heard a lot about Africa but nobody
was going there. Then I found this
programme and felt it would
be good for me.

For me, going to Malawi was a life changing volunteer experience.

What do you do now and what practical skills did you gain
from the volunteer programme to prepare you for this?

I was fed up with my ordinary life. Volunteering in Africa was a life changing experience for me.

I am working with Humana People to People Berlin, as a Manager in a second-hand shop.  I am earning money for a purpose. Second hand clothes are not wasted but are sold and the profit is used to support projects and people.

I learned how to make investigations and to use the scientific method of research. This is important because in our times there is fake politics, fake news and fake life – so each one of us need to investigate what is really going on.

I learned a lot by simply doing it – going somewhere, doing something, learning it. This has all led me to where I am now in my profession.

Volunteering abroad can change your life.

What would be an important moment, event, achievement or person you met during your time in the programme?

Be the change you wish to see in the world.

In Malawi, it is a general problem that so many people lack the most basic conditions for living a good life such as food and water.

There were situations in which I felt powerless. But in those situations, I learned we need to build something together with others. Many people fight against things, but the more you push a wall, the more it pushes you back.

One of my students in Malawi told me “you don’t need to be like water, you have to be water”. I realised the need to fight with and stand for something. That was important for me. It was an experience of sharing. You learn, you give, you exchange and it makes us all rich.

Spending time with local activists as a volunteer can be a life changing volunteer experience.

Has your work as an international development volunteer influenced your decisions for your future?

If you need to change your life, volunteering abroad could be a good experience.

The programme woke me – I could not allow myself to waste my life. That was a decision. 

It was so important for me to be an international volunteer in this programme – I cannot see another way of how I could have got to the point where I am now.

  More case stories

Trained at CICD Volunteered in Zambia

I used to be a manager and had “everything” but I was not happy at all. Missing a purpose in my life and not being proud of what I was doing, I needed something different, something new – a new life adventure.

Trained at OWI Norway Volunteered in India

I was living an average life in Hungary that was not so fulfilling. Lack of self-improvement and curiosity led me to look for something extraordinary. I found OWI Norway and the whole concept was just perfect for me.

Trained at DRH Volunteered in Malawi

I always wanted to do something good in the world, to make changes. It was my dream to go and make development work in Africa, plus travelling to another country for the training which was was interesting.