What were your reasons for becoming a volunteer?
I wanted to bring my experience to an organisation in a sector where I have been working for several years. At the same time, it would be a chance to work in a new place with a completely different group.
I also think that you receive far more from volunteering than what you give; that has always been my impression, at least. It sounds rather egotistical, so it’s taken me a while to come out and say this.
Why did you choose to volunteer at the Ibo Foundation?
On the one hand, it was an offer that fitted my profile and current sitation very well. Also, after visiting their website, I grew a real interest in the type of work that they do, and the interview carried out by the coordoinator was a very motivational experience.
What did your volunteering project with the Ibo Foundation involve?
It consisted of identifying a project that would improve access to drinking water and sanitation in Ibo. Along with major organisations: institutions, administration, community leaders, religious leaders, women’s groups, we identified the main problems in this area, and possible solutions. With this as a starting point, we began work on a project proposal to secure funding.
How do you think you have helped the Ibo community?
I’ve brought my experience of Project Management and Planning in the International Development sector, which I hope will translate into the execution of a new project that will improve access to drinking water.
As a volunteer on the ground, how would you describe the Ibo Foundation’s role, and what is its impact on island residents?
I would describe it as a responsable organisation with lots of experience in the area. I would say it has a significant positive impact on residents, all the more so since it is one of the few groups working in the zone.
Out of all the time you’ve spent on the island, what’s your most cherished memory?
Aside from all the people I’ve been getting to know out here, specifically related to my experience would be a meeting with all the community leaders from the island’s neighbourhoods, which was very successful and involved a Kmwani-Portuguese translator.
I also really enjoyed the experience and welcome I received from the women when we visited a mosque during prayer. I had a truly exceptional colleague, who was caring, deeply committed and extremely kind.