On Wednesday, November 21st, the School for Cross-faculty Studies hosted the first Volunteering Fair, organized by Dr. Stéphanie Panichelli-Batalla. Students showcased a variety of volunteering projects with which they were or are currently involved, in hopes of inspiring other students, faculty, and staff. Presenters spoke about how they came across their volunteering project, what they did, and how others can get more information. Guests asked questions regarding the impact created, challenges encountered, and lessons learned.
The volunteering projects spanned the local, national, and international scales. On the local scale, Esther Rzewski shared her current volunteering experience at an organisation offering various support services to immigrants in Coventry. She has also been involved with an organisation providing homeless people with temporary accommodation.
On the national scale, Imaani Hashamy volunteered at a community volunteer centre in Thurrock, Essex. She worked on a report about the impact of the voluntary sector, in addition to having worked with local businesses and large corporations on their social awareness and recognition, ensuring they were making a positive impact on the communities where they are present.
The variety of experiences on the international scale was remarkable. Keelie Renwick spoke about volunteering through ICS (International Citizen Service) with Voluntary Service Overseas in Tanzania. Her activities included organising projects related to irrigation, sexual health, employability and business skills; organising Community Action Days; and establishing relationships with various stakeholders.
Lily Rose shared her various experiences with GVI (Global Vision International), which she has been involved with since 2014 in Costa Rica, Thailand, and India, both as a volunteer and staff member.
Marina Zorila and Lucy Page shared their experience volunteering at the Kevin Rohan Memorial Eco-Foundation in Nepal, where, along with three other GSD students, they taught English, helped build an eco-house made of recycled glass bottles, and worked on a biodynamic farm.
Last but not least, Latin America hosted two students’ experiences. David Munday went to Cuba and made the most of volunteering in a restaurant, in construction, as well as on a farm. Bella Brant went to Honduras with the Warwick Global Brigades; and to Guatemala to volunteer for De La Gente, an NGO that enhances the economic opportunities of coffee-producing communities.
Overall, the Volunteering Fair has inspired many guests and will hopefully become an annual event where students of the School can share their experiences and encourage others to delve into the rewarding world of volunteering.
[News item by Marina Zorila]