So I realize I haven’t talked much about the work that I’m doing. I’ve talked about strange circumstances, food (by the way I’ve been practicing my roti and curries – a local woman gave a three-hour tutorial the other day… yum!), my bike (we’re speaking again – I replaced her pedals and S crank so she’s good to go) and various other things BUT I haven’t talked the reason for me being here.
The youth organization is called the Volunteer Youth Corps. They have done a lot of amazing work to do with health, mentoring and job preparation. Right now their biggest focus is their after-school program and community engagement.
My job is to help with the general running of the place. That includes making sure that there are volunteers available to run sessions and running some myself. The most exciting part is that I’ve been able to pick out a core group of six youth who I’m working with directly so they can take some ownership over the centre. They’re a really good group and I’m excited to get to know them better over the next little while.
The director is definitely a great person to work with. She has a lot of passion and is always looking for new partnerships and ways to expand what the organization is doing. She is very busy, though, and is often in meetings with board members or community partnerships which means I often work by myself in the office. It’s nice to have a quiet place to make phone calls and work on lesson plans, though, because once the youth, arrive things really pick up and it becomes a bit of a whirlwind. That reminds me a lot of home.
There is lots of work to be done and I’m enjoying it. There are always new opportunities to expand and try new things too.
Drew Badgley is a student at the University of Toronto Scarborough, studying International Development Studies, currently on Co-op placement in Guyana.