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It’s not about changing your profile picture……

By Sirey Zhang ,Under 18 Volunteer. 4 years ago
Categories Cape Town

I was so apprehensive a week before the start of my GVI under 18’s program. No, it wasn’t worrying about whether I would make friends, or whether I would make it through all my flights and customs as a minor. It was apprehension to a fairly – new term Volunteerism. I first heard that term from an article in an American Satire Newspaper, where the headline read “Volunteer trip to Africa completely changes local area woman’s profile picture.”

I knew of many under 18 volunteer programs around the world that  were more helpful experience wise to the volunteer then the community. And thus the apprehension wasn’t about the things I mentioned above, but about my fear that all that I would do is change my profile picture.

However, GVI completely alleviated every fear. Not only did I make it through all my flights and get through customs ,made lots of amazing friends that I will never forget, I also became a part of a project that was helping existing community  programs with their needs and objectives, and at the same time helping them work towards being  sustainable. Thus GVI’s ultimate goal is to be no longer needed and that the existing program within the community can run on its own. With my volunteerism fears alleviated, I had a chance to open my eyes a bit wider and experience the community I worked in, the world I live in and my role as a human being in global heritage.

I would do another GVI program in a heartbeat, knowing that I would meet amazing people, work on a program whose ultimate goal is to work towards becoming sustainable and learn more about this big wide world we all live in.