How it was like to volunteer for an NGO abroad
Ever since the pandemic started, I’ve become more involved in different volunteer opportunities. Working from home has become an advantage for me as I mindfully devote my time after work to doing side hustles and passion projects. One of these is volunteering.
It was early June when I chanced upon a social learning program shared by the ASEAN Foundation. Upon reviewing the post, I learned that this program was offered by Krya, an organization based in Indonesia, which is a center for developing the creativity and innovation of the youth through collaborative activities that inspire, create, and dedicate their creations to society.
I became interested so I submitted my application. After a few days, I received a notification that my application has been accepted and I was invited to the interview. It was June 10 when they announced that I will be a part of the Dream Team’s Batch 2.
During our first meeting, we listened to the accomplishments of the first batch. They also gave us tips and suggestions on how we can go about our project. Later on, I was assigned to be a part of Invent Future Global’s team. Invent Future Global (or IFG) aims to support students to invent the future globally.
Three months flew by so fast. We conducted webinars, produced social media posts, created an e-magazine, hosted talk sessions, and a lot more. It was bittersweet when we had our last big meeting. We call it a “big meeting” where all of the volunteers and Krya members attend the meeting.
Here are the things I learned and benefits I gained as a WorktoLearner:
- I learned to be more culturally sensitive. Working with people from different cultures has opened my eyes to be more mindful of my words and actions. 🌏
- I learned to be more time-sensitive. Working in different time zones is one of the challenges we need to face. Since we came from different countries, we need to be more respectful of other people’s time. I also became familiar with the time zones of some countries! 🥰
- I learned to stop hesitating in contributing more for our group. As our mentor always says, “We need to learn to earn more experiences and skills. Don’t be jealous if you contribute more because, in this way, you will learn more.” I also shamelessly co-hosted some of our events! 🎤
Lastly, this experience helped me gain international experience and meet strangers from other countries who became my friends. Nothing can compare to the time we’ve spent working together. Hopefully, when the pandemic is over and everything’s okay, I’ll be able to meet them in person.
If you want to know our insights, accomplishments, challenges, and everything in between, feel free to check out our e-magazine. 🤗 We’ve also shared the stories of different organizations across ASEAN through the same link.