My name is Drew Badgley. I am a student in the International Development Studies Co-op at the University of Toronto Scarborough. I am currently on a one year placement gaining work experience in Georgetown, Guyana.
I am working with a youth empowerment organization (Volunteer Youth Corps Guyana) which supports marginalized youth by offering after school programs, mentoring and employment. My role is help them develop volunteer training materials and an after school curriculum that can be used as the organization expands into other at-risk communities. Already I have had the opportunity to meet with many youth and volunteers and I have felt incredibly welcomed by this innovative and dedicated organization.
I have been given this opportunity through the co-op program at UTSC and through CUSO-VSO. CUSO-VSO is a volunteer-sending organization which sends volunteers to assist a wide range of organizations all over the world.
This blog is a summary of some of my experiences while on this placement. As I continue to meet new people, share life with them and overcome challenges you will get to share some of these experiences with me. Enjoy!
So I made it in just fine this morning. I don’t remember much about the flights… because I spent most of my time sleeping. I do remember landing in Trinidad on the way and I woke up to see the landing in Guyana.
Once we (the rest of the VSO volunteers that I was traveling with) got through customs we were picked up and drove for about an hour to get into the city. A volunteer who has been here since May acted as our guide and she gave us many helpful tips!
After getting settled at the guest house – where I will be staying for the next few days – I had a shower, lunch and then went walking with another student who is here from U of T.
We found a Scotiabank, the library and the Promenade Garden. We also got to see a really cool lizard – but sadly it got away before I could get a picture :(.
I am very fortunate that I have had the day to rest and get my bearings. Tomorrow we will start into our in country training.