Scrunched faces. Raised eyebrows. Endless questions. This is the reaction I received when I told my family I was accepted to volunteer with the International Citizen Service and VSO. In fact, it was the reaction I got from almost everyone.
No one was expecting this. To them, it was perhaps the least Georgie-thing to have ever happened. But to me, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.
The idea of volunteering internationally stems back to 2014 when I completed the National Citizen Service. This was a four-week programme, two weeks residential. My mam was genuinely ill at the thought of me doing that, so you can imagine her shock when I tell her I could be going to do something similar in another country.
Five years after NCS, this is an opportunity that I’ve actively been pushing to the back of my mind. Why? Because when I turned 18, I felt like I was on the right career path and I didn’t want to ruin it. I was completing an apprenticeship in digital marketing at the time and was learning so much. I was kind of set in that moment. But plans can change, and that’s okay. It’s a natural process that I promise you will encounter throughout your life.
The plan… for now!
At the end of September, I’ll be waving goodbye to my family and heading to Zambia on a health project. Thanks to the much-needed 0.7% foreign aid budget, the trip is funded by the UK Government. Believe it or not, I’ll even be away for my 21st birthday! 🥳
For around three months, I will be living with a local family and a national volunteer. This in itself will be an experience unlike anything I’ve done before and I couldn’t be more excited. Slightly nervous. But good nerves. The best kind of nerves. You get me?
In Zambia, my group will help support the development of youth peer-to-peer learning in schools, all about sexual and reproductive health (SRH). Essentially improving the access to quality education in communities!
I’m ready to challenge myself to change the world. Are you? I’m going to be documenting my volunteering experiences across my blog, so make sure to keep checking back for more regular updates!