Read story of Hannah, who led the international project in organic farm in Wales and helped to organise harvest party!
|Hannah started her journey with UNA Exchange because she was looking for ways to develop her skills further after finishing her Events Management degree in Cardiff. So far she has attended Leaders’ Training and went on to lead a project in Pembrokeshire preparing for a festival. She has also joined us for a Gender Issues training in Germany.|
“The project I was involved in was two week project organised by Caerhys Organic Community Agriculture in the west Wales and our aim was organising harvest party in the end of the summer. I chose this projects because I study events management and organic farming is something I am interested in. It was my first project when I have been a leader on the project and I thought this would be a challenge for me and I like to be challenged. When the opportunity came up to lead this project in Wales I just went straight in.
Changing stables into the rooms
The project was great and it was a lot of hard work, because we were farming and organising the event. The idea we come up with for the harvest party was to change eight stables in the farm for different rooms with different themes. One stable was like a kid’s room, one was like grandma’s living room full of vintage chairs. I really enjoyed decorating it! The night of the harvest party was really memorable, because we got to see the last ten days of hard work and we just saw the whole farm transformed into the party. It was nice to see what we all worked like out coming that project.
Life on the farm
On the farm were woofers as well, so we all just hang out as a big group and did lots of activities in the weekend. Gerald the farmer took us to one of the local pubs in the evening to watch the local ukulele band with his car and let us sit in the trailer on the way to the pub. The whole drive was really nice: there was a sunset outside, someone was playing the guitar, we almost getting to know each other… It’s really random being set in the trailer rather than just sit in the car, which just made that experience of being on the farm!
Meeting other volunteers
I learned a lot about other people’s cultures, how in different countries have different holidays and how people eat their food or what people do in their spare time. Most I remember Rubi the volunteer from Taiwan.
We were sharing our experiences and she was really interested in Britain and British way of life. She was always asking me questions, because it was her first time in UK and she said she loves it here. She just was interested in things what people do, how politics works here, what we eat for breakfast and lunch…When we went to food shop, she pointed to the tin of beans and asked me: “Hannah, what is this?”
Leading the project gave me the confidence
I found out that I am able to communicate with people and I like to make sure that everyone understands. I know that one of the volunteers didn’t really understand all the time, so I didn’t want to exclude him. Sometimes it was hard to make sure that volunteers started on time in the mornings. Few days they woke up late, so I have to try different approaches. I set up communal wakeup calls to wake up everyone.
The fact that I could lead the project was a bit surprising. I knew I could it, I just didn’t have a confidence to sort of believe in myself. But it went quite well and I didn’t have any trouble or any issues. I definitely gain some confidence from this and I got positive feedback which is always nice to hear. I learned about myself and skills that I possessed. Later in my job interview for my new job I mentioned about my experience volunteering and skills I used and leadership, motivation, communicating with people from different culture backgrounds.
I think this experience definitely changed me. I am more open-minded and it just open my eyes to projects: what projects there are, what they doing and who they helping…after this one I enjoyed I want to get more involved with different volunteering projects. For me volunteering is positive way how to use my free time wisely and help to communities and people. I realized, there are so many projects overseas, which wouldn’t have any sort of power, if they wouldn’t ask for help.”
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- Would you like to become a leader of one of our International Volunteer Projects in Wales this summer? We are always on the lookout for project leaders and we offer special training to develop leadership skills. Find out more about our training opportunities and get in touch with us to discuss your possibilities: email@example.com