19 Mar The transformative experience of being an international volunteer

Becoming an international volunteer offers a transformative personal experience. Sherryann Boyce is an EQWIP HUBs volunteer who spent four months volunteering in Bolivia and supporting the EQWIP HUBs youth livelihood project. This is her story.

“I went to create an impact for the lives of others, but it definitely impacted my life as well.

I was fortunate to be part of the EQWIP HUBs team in Bolivia from March – June in 2018. My lifelong passion has been to volunteer in areas that impact the lives of others, especially if it involves youth and children. After ending a 20-year career in the financial sector, I could now go out and seize the opportunity to fulfill that dream.

The project was amazing. Working in El Alto, we had a great group of youth that were at the HUB nearly every day to have a place to collaborate with their peers. When the training sessions started, we had 100 participants between morning and afternoon programs. The aspects of the project that stand out the most for me are how youth participants are empowered to achieve their goals and dreams, the development of cross-cultural understanding for the volunteers, and the great sense of partnership amongst project staff, local volunteers, Canadian volunteers and local organizations.

Lors d’une séance d’encadrement avec de jeunes entrepreneures

Being able to take time to experience different parts of Bolivia through weekend travel expeditions was also amazing. I made wonderful friendships, gained knowledge of youth livelihood project execution, acquired a better understanding of Bolivian culture and its Indigenous people, and, perhaps most importantly, improved my skills to work in this, and any, environment.

Through this opportunity, I realized this was definitely the right career direction. It emphasized my desire to pursue my passion to positively impact the lives of others. EQWIP HUBs is a great opportunity to experience international volunteering. It provides the opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge you acquired through education and life experience in a tangible way. Supporting young entrepreneurs to fulfill their dreams is a key aspect to the project provided through entrepreneurship training and the Youth Innovation Fund. There is a great sense of community with Canadian volunteers and the in-country staff and volunteers. I am still in contact with some of the people I met in Bolivia.

I fully appreciate the EQWIP HUBs project and all it has done for youth in Bolivia and internationally.

Laguna Colorada, le lac salé

EQWIP HUBs is an innovative youth livelihood project in 6 countries around the world. Powered by Canada World Youth and Youth Challenge International, and funded in part by Global Affairs Canada, EQWIP HUBs seeks to address the underlying issues of youth unemployment, with a specific focus on empowering young women, through its employment and entrepreneurial training. Canadian volunteers help sustain the project by providing their time and skills. See how you can get involved today!