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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

My first Job as a Volunteer at International Service





I began my job as a volunteer of International Service in the ICS programme a week ago, and I’ve already learned a lot of the world of the INGO´s. It all started with a phone call where I was asked to participate in an interview. At first I had very different expectations compared with what really happened the day of the interview.  This is my first “official” job so I started wondering if there would be a possible dress code, or about how I should answer to the questions they might ask me. When the day of the interview came I found a place full of people I’ve never seen before, but experiencing the same situation I was, so I realized this was a very different way of selecting people to work at the office.  We started talking about ourselves, sharing a little bit about our interests and experiences, we carried on with group activities, and we ended the interview by solving a short test on competencies.
The technics they used to develop the interview immediately caught my attention, and at the same time I thought it was a very modern way to select people and overall very interactive. At the end of the day I received a call and found out I was selected to work with the International Citizen Service team as part of the Volunteering and Participation for Inclusion project working alongside people with disabilities. I felt very excited because disability is a topic I´m very passionate about. Of course I felt scared too and I started fearing about certain things related to my new job.
The next day I arrived to what I´ll remember as my first workday, and I was surprised, when arriving on how people greeted me, my co-workers and bosses, made the environment really friendly. I felt that I was going to be very much respected as well as my working position. When I started to learn about the working history of the ICS programme in my country and the whole world I started feeling more enthusiastic about being part of it. The vision they have about volunteering made me reflect on how important it is to help people, groups and societies considered to be in a vulnerable position.
This is how it has been three days since I started working here and I feel I’ve learned a lot about team work, the importance of listening different opinions and knowing the life story of my coworkers so that this way I can relate to many of them and also learn from many of them.

Learning about the importance of the different issues we are going to work with and about the proper way to reffer about them, knowing that now I have the ICS shirt on, and above all knowing that I have made a commitment not only with the people of my team and my overall work, but with myself, a responsible commitment with each and everyone of the people I´m starting this adventure with. Above all a commitment with one of the groups considered to be in one of the most vulnerable situations, which are the people with disabilities. Not only do they have to deal with the difficulties of living with a disability, which involves the lack of commitment of the authorities with making this city more inclusive and friendly regarding infrastructure respecting their rights as citizens, but also with the discrimination of people with out disabilities. This is the commitment that motivates me to keep working harder.  

The commitment I´ve made with the people I´m destined to work with and above all the commitment I´ve made with my country through the ICS programme, I feel is the opening window which will take me on a path where I´ll be able to continue on working for the people of my country, for the people who need it the most. At the same time a window to let other young people know that there is actually a job where you can have fun, be committed and that definitely will give you experiences and learning that will last for a lifetime. Because feeling that you are actually helping people who need it the most is worth a thousand times more than the whole gold in the world.  

Finally I would like to share the following thought with you: Having INGO´s giving young people the opportunity to be part of the worlds´ problematics. Young people bring new ideas, and new opinions about the trending topics that worry everyone. The combination of the believes young people have been raised with  and the new ideas they have, make a huge difference, because they can bring  integration to the population giving new hope to a future world that includes new points of view and working strategies. I feel this job has given me the opportunity to open my eyes about people who are in a vulnerable situation. Working with and for people with disabilities, to become part of a more inclusive society. Thinking about this as a lifestyle and not leaving these ideas just as ideas and no action but to actually fight for them so we can build a new world with no discrimination and segregations. 


Blog by: Camila Richter

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