Let’s Talk About It

Hey all!

As YCI heads into the new year, we’re really excited about a number of projects we have coming up. First up, there’s our fifth Annual Volunteer of the Year award. This award recognizes exemplary Canadian and American volunteers, as well as the international volunteers we work with overseas. Next up, in February we’re going to working in Nicaragua again for the first time since 2006. (Interested in getting on board? There’s still time!)

And finally, the project that I’m personally most excited about is YCI’s Challenge for Change Video Competition. Over the last couple of years, I’ve seen thousands of photographs come into our office that demonstrate YCI’s overseas programming and the transformative team experiences that take place. Most of these photos are used to share with our preparing volunteers, so they have a better idea of what to expect once they arrive in-country. And for the YCI staff who don’t make it out to the field, volunteer photos also give us a better idea of what programming in all our different locations may look like.

However, throughout 2008 and 2009, I’ve been receiving more and more video clips of our teams in the field as well. The video clips vary widely–from what it’s like to take a tro tro ride, to workshop facilitation, to videos of groups resolving conflicts. (There’s also a strangely high number of “the electricity went out again–let’s have a dance party!” videos. I’ve been told that YCI impromptu dance parties are legendary worldwide. In fact, I’ve taken part in a few myself.)

So, I couldn’t help but wonder–what if these video clips were used to tell the story of the YCI experience, from beginning to end? And our first ever  video competition was born.

Thinking of submitting your own video? For inspiration, check out this great video that Ashley Ellerbeck and Nikki Owens, YCI  Youth Ambassadors, created while they were in Ghana this fall:

For more video clips, check out our Youtube site.

From the staff here at YCI, I wish you a Happy New Year, and all the best for 2010!

-Jessica Lockhart, Program Coordinator


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