For those who do not know, Tlell and I decided to take a career break and volunteer overseas (see past posting about this topic here by clicking on the “VSO” tag). We initially had potential volunteer placements in either Ethiopia, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, or Nigeria but luckily two successfully matched volunteer placements in Nepal were available for the both us. We have SWKID training in Ottawa next month and then we tentatively ship out sometime early November.
Below is our VSO Canada online profile.
Hi! We are VSO Education and Information Technology Volunteers from Vancouver, BC.
For the next two years we’ll be living and working in Kathmandu, Nepal sharing our skills and expertise in Information Technology Management and Education Advocacy.
Tlell will be sharing her skills through work with the Global Campaign for Education, a coalition of 20 educational NGO’s who are focused on lobbying the Nepali government for greater access to education and better teaching conditions.
Rex will be working for a community group called the General Welfare Pratisthan (GWP). The General Welfare Pratisthan is a non-governmental, non-profit organization working in the field of HIV & AIDS, Income Generation, Education and Environment. The primary goal of Rex’s volunteer placement is to assist the various GWP HIV & AIDS partners with their various Information Technology needs throughout the districts of Nepal.
We decided to take a career break and volunteer overseas because we both felt that this would be a perfect point in our lives to stop what we are doing and experience and learn about new cultures and ideas that are different from our own. We are also interested in exploring our professional skills in an international context and developing a better understanding of technology and educational issues from a different perspective. We are thrilled with our placement in Nepal as it offers such a great opportunity to work with local organizations in a collaborative setting! And the idea volunteering for a long duration of up to 2 years gives us goose bumps…our hope is Nepal will eventually feel very much like home and that is our kind of travel 🙂
Volunteering with VSO Canada was an easy decision for both of us as their overall philosophy and values matched our own. We believe in empowerment, collaboration, and facilitation as key roles for volunteers working overseas, which are hallmarks of VSO’s approach to development. VSO values our professional skills but equally values the skills of our local colleagues and expects the learning and development to move in both directions. Finally, VSO has a strong and well-developed program structure to prepare volunteers for their work overseas and for the social and cultural changes that we will undoubtedly encounter. VSO has a wealth of volunteer resources, a great travel medical adviser and a large network of current and past volunteers that we can contact to ask questions who provide sound advice regarding our placement.
We are both extremely excited about the life-changing adventure that we are about to embark. Most importantly, we cannot wait to find out how our perspectives and values will evolve – as a couple and as individuals when we return.
As we prepare for our overseas placement, we are asking family and friends to support VSO Canada. Our goal is to raise $4000 for VSO Canada before we leave for Nepal this Fall.
Click here to visit the VSO Canada web site for more information on how to make a donation.
Thank you again for your support.
Rex and Tlell