Thank you, Merci, Tank Yu, Gracias, Medasi, Asante Sana!

Youth Challenge International could not do the work we do with out volunteers.  Seriously. The spirit of volunteerism is at the very core of YCI, which might make International Volunteer Day our most important holiday.

As a volunteer-sending youth development organization, we rely on the skills and experience of youth to implement our programs in eight different countries. In partnership with local youth (almost of of whom are also volunteers), YCI participants work together to raise awareness and sow the seeds of positive change. From running workshops on environmental education, sexual reproductive health and good governance to teaching computer and English classes to doing late night HIVAIDS outreaches in the clubs of Mombasa, our volunteers are committed to the issues and are making a difference.

In my role as the Volunteer Communications Coordinator here at YCI, I have the pleasure (and sometimes challenge) of working with all the volunteers we send overseas on a regular basis.  I love my job and wanted to take this opportunity to send a huge shout out to all of the great volunteers I work with–you all continue to inspire me on a daily basis.  Everyone comes with their own motivations, skills and experience, and it is truly amazing to work with such a diverse group of youth that are so committed to both learning about themselves and creating positive change in whatever way they can.

To be fair, those aren’t the only volunteers YCI relies on, just the ones I work closely with.  We also have Community Connectors and Volunteer Action Network team members here in Canada who work hard throughout the year to engage the public and raise awareness about international development issues and how they are connected to local realities.  The YCI office also hosts a small number of dedicated office volunteers, who provide much needed assistance and have saved me on a number of occasions from late nights and weekend work.

Thank you, Merci, Tank Yu, Gracias, Medasi, Asante Sana!  From all of us here at YCI and our partners across the globe, we really appreciate everything you’ve done for us.  You’re all awesome!

-Lauren Chender, Volunteer Communications Coordinator

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