Volunteer Blog: Be the Change You Want To See in the World

Check out Richard Elliot’s reflection on his experience volunteering with GO Campaign’s Local Heroes.

Recently one of my students returned from an overseas trip with an inspiring recount of his endeavors in assisting an isolated Indonesian village in improving their fishing practices. My student indicated that his main inspiration had come from my humanitarian activities with GO Campaign, who have been an invaluable conduit connecting me with grassroots organizations in a number of different countries. Apart from the obvious benefits, liaising with GoCampaign has had the flow-on effect of positively impacting upon and inspiring others, including my students. Too often people wish to assist others but fail to make time to do so. GoCampaign simplifies the process.

Many charitable organizations, while altruistically inclined, by necessity spend money on ancillary considerations. GO Campaign has placed me in direct contact with local organizations, thus enabling me to be certain where and how the donations have been dispersed. This year I was placed in contact with Tamara Horton, the dynamic Executive Director and Founder of Studio Samuel, an organization whose purpose is to “empower at-risk girls…to become self-reliant.”

Subsequent to conversations with Tamara, I traveled to Ethiopia to distribute the funds raised by my Australian school. With the assistance of Hilawi Alemayehu, Studio Samuel’s passionate and inspirational Country Director, I braved Addis Ababa’s Merkato to purchase the commercial sewing machines needed by Studio Samuel to assist the girls attending the school in becoming more self-sufficient. Hilawi toured me around Studio Samuel, including its computer lab donated by GO Campaign and its classrooms. He showed me the positive affect donations from five dollars to one thousand dollars had had in providing disadvantaged teenaged girls with direction, independence, and hope.

Studio Samuel has experienced continued growth and has been increasingly recognized and supported by the Ethiopian government, which is an affirmation both of the work and dedication of its incredible staff and of the donations of time, skills and money by individuals and organizations such as GO Campaign.

The fact that you’re reading this blog suggests you have an interest in this process, in helping others or in experiencing foreign cultures at a local level. If that’s true, do it! Make a difference! I challenge you to re-read this blog after six months and ask; “What have I done?” Become, like me, an unexceptional person who does exceptional things.

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