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.
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.
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.