Being a part of the Volunteer Action Network (VAN) has allowed me to develop leadership, professional and networking skills. Before becoming involved with Youth Challenge International, I had the drive and passion for international development but had no experience.

YCI has given me the support and resources to build these skills. After my time overseas in Ghana, I came back to my own community and have started to use the training I got with YCI and translate it in to action here in Vancouver. I have met with many organizations, attended many forums to gain more knowledge about global issues and recruited an extraordinary VAN team that has the same drive as I do.

With YCI’s support, my team and I were able to hold a fundraising event in partnership with a few other organizations. This event alone allowed me to build skills that I may not have otherwise had the opportunity to at this point. I learned to collaborate with other social change organizations, deal with media, communicate effectively (when raising money you have to be clear on where the donor’s money is going and why they should donate), getting sponsorships, planning and coordinating an event, marketing and leading a team.

The VAN network has given me the confidence and skills to pass on my experience I had overseas with YCI. I am proud and excited to be a part of this program.

-Pamy Teja was a volunteer in the fall of 2008 in Ghana. She played an active role in World Aids Day, as well as organizing a campaign to encourage Ghanaian youth to vote. She is currently the Youth & Poverty VAN Action team leader based out of Vancouver. Her team recently raised over $7000 for local and global organizations that focus on youth and poverty.

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