Thank you Zahra!

image 2018 09 10

Zahra's 10 month EVS project at SCI's International Secretariat has sadly come to an end, and it is time to bid her farewell! Here is a short interview where Zahra discusses her experiences with SCI in Antwerp.

Zahra, you spent 10 months in Antwerp, volunteering for SCI international.  What were the highlights for you? Were there any challenges you had to overcome?

Moving out on your own is a huge step anywhere, but even more so when you add in other continents. It’s nearly one year ago I arrived in Antwerp with a warm welcome by the staff and volunteers in the SCI international Secretariat.

It was quite challenging at the beginning. The first two weeks were the toughest time in my life. I was scared, failed and learned! The cultural shock was not something new, it was normal as every individual face when moving to a new country for the first time. Thanks to my hosts Ingrid and Neild, my co-workers and my peers who made me feel better.

I had the opportunity to work on Peers to Peace, capacity building in international volunteer work. My main tasks were; support with organizing international activities; ensure visibility of the project by updating websites and preparing a newsletter and contribute to project's results: SCI's Members Area and a booklet (read it here!). Besides, I also support with gathering SCI statistics and general office work.

You had an opportunity to work on Peers to Peace project that is supporting cooperation among SCI branches all over the world.  What did you enjoy the most in the project?

I Enjoyed every bit of it, it was a great learning experience for me. I enjoyed coordinating and being part of the Project Management Seminar in Greece as I had the opportunity to learn about project management and fundraising.

Would you recommend a volunteering experience such as European Voluntary Service to others? Why yes or no?

Yes. I believe every EVS volunteer will find progressing his/her self during the volunteering as I did in turn. Perhaps, opportunities like this allow to explore oneself to meet new friends, learn new languages, and learn about new cultures and to travel worldwide while making an important contribution to a bigger change

What are your further plans with SCI and in Sri Lanka?

Currently I am supporting SCI SL with Online Placement System (OPS), Newsletter, social media also coordinating international volunteers and the training programs. In the international level, I have joined the fair finances team and peers to peace prep team. Looking forward to supporting SCI both locally and internationally.

Anything else you would like to add?

So many memories created in such a short space of time. I would like to thank SCI Sri Lanka for giving me this opportunity and thank all the staff in the International Secretariat, volunteers and my mentor for making my stay memorable.


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