I have been wanting to share this news for a while but I was waiting on confirmation of my placement whereabouts! And I am very happy to announce I will be volunteering as a team leader overseas in Ghana collaborating and helping with local livelihoods projects, gender equality education and human rights! The program is 8 months long split into 2 cycles of 4 months and I’ll be starting the first in May 2016. I’m super excited to get involved with these projects and learn about ways to help the local communities in this area.
Before I went through the application process with VSO, I went straight to google to find any links or helpful reviews and when I was told I got Ghana I immediately did the same – but I didn’t manage to find much in depth info about either…so I’m going to document my journey with VSO and try to give a well rounded insight into what to expect from being a team leader in this program; whilst also sharing my adventures in Ghana!
To give you an idea of what I have done so far:
- Initial Application process via online form
- Acceptance on the scheme
- Assessment day at the Kingston office which involved some team solving problem tasks and a 1-1 interview. I found the day really casual and well organised. Try not to be too nervous for it, it’s not intense. You just need to show that you are capable of looking at a problem and finding a solution collectively. Our first task was to build the tallest giraffe we could out of newspaper and sticky tape!
- DBS & Medical Clearance – arrange these as soon as you can and get the forms sent back to VSO; so as to move your application forward as quickly as possible. All the costs of these things are covered by VSO.
- Clearance accepted and details of your placement confirmed!
- Start fundraising! As soon as you get your placement you can start the process of fundraising, all VSO volunteers are required to fundraise an amount (£800 usually) to begin the program. Get baking, selling, running and shouting about your placement & cause!
Here’s a snippet of my fundraising page bio which explains a bit more about what VSO ICS is and what my placement will involve when I get to Ghana:
“In May 2016 I will volunteer for VSO ICS on a development programme in Asamankese, GHANA.
This is part of International Citizen Service (ICS), which brings young people together to fight poverty and make a difference where it is needed most. I’ll be working alongside volunteers, on projects within the community.
Through this project, VSO seeks to increase cocoa production, provide alternative markets for cocoa and other products and add value through income generating activities by increasing business and marketing knowledge skills among the target group.
VSO ICS teams will help improve livelihood conditions by supporting FLOWER (local NGO partner) to increase their support of community groups, and inspire an interest in agriculture amongst in and out of school youth.
In addition, VSO ICS volunteers will organise seminars for the local people for them to gain skills in bookkeeping and adopt innovative marketing practices to reach new communities not currently working with Cocoa Life.
ICS works with communities that have specifically requested their help. It also aims to inspire young people in the UK and overseas to become active citizens who are passionate about long term community development.
I need to raise £800.00 for VSO who are one of the respected development charities that deliver ICS. This will allow them to continue to bring about positive change in the developing communities where they work. You can check out their amazing work here http://www.vsointernational.org
I’m doing multiple fundraising activities and challenges and you can keep track of how I get on here on my Justgiving page or www.jackgunns.com. Any contribution from you will make a real difference to the lives of people in developing countries, so please dig deep!
Thanks for your support!”
My next update will be when I go for a Team Leader training weekend in April which you are required to do before you begin placement as it provides you with the leadership training and details of your role when overseas.
Hopefully you found this useful and keep an eye out for the next step in my VSO ICS adventure!
Keep up to date by following my social media channels as I post regular updates on there!
Travel. Create. Be Nice!