Volunteerism is a beautiful global culture where being a socially responsible global citizen is practiced. One of our lovely Afrolutionists Lorraine Kinnear has been selected to volunteer in Chile, South America teaching english to primary school children in public schools.
With this great opportunity, she needs a little boost of funding to fly her into Chile. Have a read on her thoughts about volunteerism and humanitarian work before you do the right thing 😉
What inspired you to volunteer?
In all honesty this has been something I always wanted to do even before realizing that graduating from the University might mean that you might experience a phase where you’ll sort of stray away from what you did study in school because of some life challenges; specific to our country the degree I graduated from (psychology) doesn’t have that many job openings so we end up having to compromise.
As of now while I wait to start this volunteer program. I work two jobs, one in a corporate governance firm and one in photography and creative directing both which are unrelated to my studies. I think with volunteering I will have a chance to merge my studies with helping out communities and also being able to push a bit on what I’m passionate about.
Take us through how you got selected to volunteer in Chile
I got the link to the application sent to me by a dear friend of mine who has also participated in a similar program, so I applied. The application process was really not that hectic, it was just several essays and video call interviews away from you’ve made the cut. I actually have never ever felt so privileged to be able to speak English.
Why are you taking this voluntary journey in your career?
The English Opens Doors Program aims to provide teacher/learner support through getting volunteers of different cultures and background to give learners a greater more contemporary and fun way to learn English. As you may know South America is one of the most largely populated areas with a very small English speaking population. I took the program with interests in both leaning ways at which I can put my psychology educations to practice. I imagine I will likely be placed in a public primary school.
And we all know that in public schools especially we tend to turn a blind eye to most of the already existing problems with things like learning disabilities and other such psychological challenges that school children such a developmental stage are faced with. It also with the hope that by participating in the likes of the EODP which is supported by the UNDP I can ultimately get some work done with the United Nations anywhere else from here, even far after furthering my education. I would like to be part of this global humanitarian community, for that our country has been blessed with such peace and tranquility it is then up to us to show others how to be peaceful. Essentially the best way to teach one how to be peaceful is not by telling them to be so but by showing them how to be so.
Do you believe that volunteering helps in achieving your own personal goals? Outside giving back to the community?
Absolutely, in volunteering you get to play parts of both good role model to those in your community and finding out spaces where you can grow and it is always the perfect opportunity for the likes of myself who want to build one career out of humanitarian intellect and creativity to be able to explore all that. As a school teacher I get to practice the humanitarian intellect side but travelling to another place for artists with obvious bring inspiring new stimuli that you’ll get to react to differently more so that it will be in a whole new setting. I am excited to explore the cultures of Chilean people and interaction between myself and other volunteers from all other the world should also be something.
Do you believe that through your existing influence (blog followers and protégées) can stimulate a culture of volunteering in the community?
As a culture volunteerism isn’t exactly flying in Africa. It’s not because we’re unable to volunteer but I believe that we’re skeptical both in traveling to unknown lands (which in my Botswana, I can understand coming from a fear of taking risks) and to doing things without pay. I have many people who’ll admit to me that they will not travel half way across the world to do work for free. I never think of it as such, I am afforded the opportunity to travel at a small cost and not have to deal with waiting a long time for visa approval; whence there you get a rehearsal kind of thing at what it is you eventually want to get into. You’re in a place where you get to prove yourself and if you work hard enough you could even be absorbed in the companies that recruit you. I’ll be back in November and what I want to do is get the word out so that more people are less fearful of the whole experience. Hopefully they’ll heed my message and next year Botswana could sent out up to 10 volunteers, not just to Chile, other parts of the world as well.
What are your thoughts on Africans volunteering at large?
I will admit a great population are severely skeptical about volunteer anything. Even here at home you’ll find most of the voluntary work is done by expatriates. Perhaps it is in feeling that we don’t like to feel that we’re doing things without pay. This shouldn’t be the case because if we all work to better parts of our societies that are still slacking then it is for the greater good of the entire population. Denmark didn’t get to least carbon-emission by magic; it took many people from there giving up their lifestyles to say I would better trade my truck for a bike because it will delay the ageing of our planet earth. It takes one of us at a time to make a difference and that difference can then be relayed to those that we influence and the cycle goes. –It is really that simple, the cogs get set in motion just that easy.
Through diving into the socio-political photojournalism world, do you think that you are part of a larger movement of stimulating the creative economy?
I’m a small part of the large piece. I find that for the most part reading about African stories we often rely on the journalistic abilities of already established media houses outside of our own home. The story sometimes needs to be told by the people of the land so that it can be better understood. I make part of the dedicated Africa that is forever exuberated and excited to document Africa. We hold the ink and the scroll to the history of our land and thus boosting the creative community that also lusts to do so with a purpose.
How can people donate or assist to your cause?
I have set up a crowdfunding blog for the fund support I need –
And also will be offering about 20 P1000 “Project Chile” service cards (for Charity) to interested individuals and companies that might take interest in such a cause. Available for purchase on request, follow our Facebook page for more.