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Hey folks! It’s been a while since YCI has updated our blog. Half a year, in fact. But, it’s not what you think. It’s not because we haven’t had tons to write about–but rather because we’ve been so busy that we haven’t had time to write about it!
Between May and August, we sent 87 volunteers to work on projects in Guyana, Vanuatu, Tanzania, Kenya, Ghana, Costa Rica and Guatemala. (In other words, to all of our project countries except for Nicaragua.) The result of their work over the summer months was impressive; volunteers worked on the Earth Charter in Costa Rica, built water tanks in Vanuatu and facilitated gender and active citizenship workshops in Kenya. (And that’s just a brief summary of the activities they completed overseas.)
We were busy, too. While our volunteers were working with our partner organizations globally to meet development goals, learn new skills and make connections with youth overseas, we were active in our Toronto office preparing for our fall and winter programs and producing a number of new communications tools.
Now that September has rolled around and school is back in high gear, YCI is too, with one of those new tools—t-shirts! I got my first opportunity to rock the new YCI look at Volunteer Action Council (VAC) retreat in September. The VAC is the body that administers and managers the Volunteer Action Network. It’s composed of team leaders, a guiding council and YCI staff members. For two days, VAN team leaders, mentors, YCI staff and chair members gathered at the Centre for Social Innovation and the Youth Challenge International HQ to goal set, plan activities for the year and, for many of us, finally get the chance to meet one another face-to-face.
It was a great weekend and inspiring to see the work that our alumni and volunteers are doing across the country. It was also amazing to have conversations about different ways to make the local-global connection and how we can get the Canadian public involved. (Want to get involved with the VAN or learn more? Check out http://www.yci.org/html/inCanada/)
Next up, Nucci (YCI’s Program Development and Marketing Manager) and I both wore our new t-shirts at the University of Toronto Mississauga’s Get Experience Fair. While it’s always refreshing to hear what our alumni are doing to put their global perspectives into action, it’s also a welcome change from my computer to get face time with prospective volunteers. (And of course, I always like the opportunity to talk about my own involvement with YCI from an alumnus perspective.)
So, where will you see the YCI t-shirts next? On the volunteers who are headed to Tanzania, Ghana, Kenya Costa Rica and Guyana in the next two months. Want to get your own YCI t-shirt? Consider volunteering. You can check out more information on our website at www.yci.org.
-Jessica Lockhart, Program Coordinator