Happy 2012 everyone! This is going to be our year!
We have now been in South Africa for close to two months. And in that short time I have seen Volunteer Alliance grow from a good idea to an effective business with a whole heap of promise! We now have over 500 volunteer profiles and over 50 organization profiles! This is really all the validation we need that what Volunteer Alliance is doing is what everyone wants.
Our outreach trip was originally planned to be 1-2 weeks at each organization. In this time we would volunteer at the organization and build out a profile for them on Volunteer Alliance. However, after our first placement we had a queue of organizations wanting us to come and visit. Each organization that we met recommended us to 2 or more organizations that needed a profile. To meet with all these organizations we have had to cut back our time with each organization to 1-2 days. It doesn’t feel like a lot of time to spend with each organization, but we leave each organization to attract more volunteers and more appropriately skilled volunteers to help build their organizations (I am way better with websites than I am with a hammer....).
Visiting these organizations I have come to realise that I have lived a very sheltered life. I won a genetic lottery by being born in Australia in my family. When I visit the informal settlements I really start to appreciate this fact. Although the injustice of it does burn a little. But when you visit these community based organizations, and you meet the people running them, you see the potential for change. These people are the most inspirational people I have ever met (I know people throw this cliché around all the time, but I actually mean this!). These organizations serve their communities, often with little or no financial support, and definitely against the odds. They empower community members to make positive changes. It really is amazing. I know that all our future volunteers will agree!
So that was my serious bit. I actually have had the most awesome fun time here in Cape Town , you have to still have fun right?
I have to start off with a massive thanks to Brian. Very very cool travel partner. He is founder of Volunteer Alliance and crazy committed to making it happen (although I resent the fact that he told everyone I love Justin Beiber and Mariah Cary, not that it’s not true, just that he told everyone).
Cape Town itself is a great place to volunteer (this is my Cape Town plug for those of you wondering). Lots of mountains to climb, including full moon hikes, great clubs, and the best milkshakes ever!
I will finish with our biggest development of the past two weeks. We are always looking for new ways to develop and scale Volunteer Alliance. Enter the Volunteer Alliance Ambassador Program. I have just told you how much fun it is to volunteer this way. Here is the opportunity for you to do the same thing. You will meet with organizations, create a profile for them and then teach them how to manage their profile. You can do this in your own area or when you are traveling. It is an extremely impactful way of volunteering. If you are interested please go to the Contact VA section and get in touch!
FYI, all Brian’s music sounds like someone murdering a cat...