YCI had a great year in 2012 and sent 115 amazing youth volunteers and interns overseas to work with local staff and local volunteers in our host communities. Thanks to the hard work and innovation of both international and local youth volunteers, YCI was able to make significant contributions towards creating positive change in communities in Ghana, Tanzania, Costa Rica, Guyana and Guatemala. In honour of this achievement, YCI would like to recognize 3 exceptional volunteers; one local volunteer from Tanzania, a local volunteer from Ghana, and an international YCI volunteer.
YCI is proud to present the Co-Winners of the International Volunteer of the Year award: Erin Scott and Alicia Perry!
Alicia’s positive personality and enthusiasm enabled her to work well with her fellow Canadian YCI volunteer (Erin Scott), the local Tanzanian volunteers, and YCI staff while in Morogoro. Her easy-going, positive, friendly and accommodating personal qualities made her a valuable team player in organizing and implementing program activities. Her open communication made it easy to know what was on her mind and she was always just as eager to get insight from staff and local volunteers for input into program ideas and plans.
Alicia worked hard to come with the best lesson plans for the many workshops and sessions she participated in, and she was always dedicated to ensuring the other participants were able to get the most out of them as possible. She recognized that the learning process for some of the programs’ participants varied, thereby making it difficult for some of the well-planned activities to work as planned; however, Alicia would never give up and continued to try new approaches and incorporate available resources.
In addition to her work with YCI in Morogoro, Alicia’s compassion and desire to contribute to the community in Morogoro lead her to illustrate her global citizenship in an amazing way. Through sharing her personal experiences with her friends and family back home in Canada, she facilitated the collection of donations for the 117 HIV-positive children in Faraja’s Home Based Care program. This enabled Alicia and Erin to purchase clothing, toys, books, and food that were then distributed at a special Play Day.
Erin demonstrated excellent qualities of global citizenship and youth leadership during her time as a Youth Ambassador in Morogoro. Her flexibility, maturity and team-work skills were crucial in accomplishing the project goals and objectives. Erin’s ability to positively deal with situations and challenges, as well as her strong communication skills, ensured there was a good group dynamic among YCI staff, with her co-volunteer (Alicia), local volunteers, partner organization staff, and community participants.
Erin’s dedication to engaging with and immersing herself in the community led her to try to learn the local language so she could communicate and interact more with the community. She worked hard to make sure the beneficiaries of the many workshops and programs gained as much information as possible. Erin took particular care to always have a more interactive and participatory approach in the program activities she led and participated in; she worked very hard at ensuring that she interacted with participants to get feedback and hear more from them during workshops and information sessions.
Erin is an excellent leader, yet equally as good at letting others lead and helping to develop their leadership skills. Her respect and consideration for those around her, as well as her dedication to community and youth development make her an exemplary YCI volunteer.