An international volunteering within my own country

Vanessa con chicos

An international volunteering within my own country

Since a very young age, I have always been interested in volunteering; it’s my passion. I have been volunteering since I was 15 in my community.

When I was 21, I took part in a student exchange program abroad where I learned a lot, and it changed my way of seeing the world. I also made many friends from different parts of the world. The most incredible thing is that after I spent some time abroad for the second time and came back – I had to do an internship for the university –, then a friend told me about Otra Cosa Network, a British-Peruvian NGO. It seemed to me like a perfect opportunity to volunteer and do an internship in the same time, and, in the end, it was a great experience.

With the HELP English project in a local school

With the HELP English project in a local school


When I joined the NGO, first, I was a fundraising coordinator. Moreover, I also worked in the HELP Women project, helping this small business of a pastry shop with ideas on marketing and promotion. Since I work in communication, wishing to specialise in marketing, I really wanted to join the marketing team of the organisation. And a month later, I was told that I could support this field; it made me so happy.

Therefore, I spent 4 months with the NGO as a fundraising and marketing coordinator. All this time, I had learned a lot about my future career and also from my colleagues; it was great.

Together with Spanish volunteers at surf event

Together with Spanish volunteers at surf event

But the experience didn’t end there. Being surrounded by people from other countries and other cultures is incredible. I had learned a lot about life, practised my English, which was a requirement for my volunteer job, and also learned a little in other languages. For me it was like being in a cultural exchange program without leaving my country (For you, guys, who will read my blog and are Peruvians, you will understand this. Be part of OCN!). I also made wonderful friends and who would welcome me in their homes throughout the world.

To sum it up, OCN gave me one of the most beautiful experiences I have ever had.


This blog was written by Vanessa Roldan Sifuentes.

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