Intercultural dialogue

My ESC Journey with VSI!

The project took place in:


Long term volunteering

Written by Nicolas

October 2022

My time as VSI’s Marketing and Communications officer has certainly proved both eventful and interesting. I started in October 2021, so learning the ropes and my first few months as an ESC volunteer all took place online against the backdrop of a global pandemic. I’d like to especially thank my predecessor, Maria, for guiding me through complexities of the role during this time.

Following these early days, as restrictions were eased, the team was finally able to meet in person after weeks of interacting online, enabling us to work more cohesively and form stronger social bonds. This was a nice change as I wished to further explore how an office team can communicate and collaborate effectively. Since then, we’ve worked as a close-knit team, both in our day-to-day tasks, from maintaining connections with our volunteers, SCI and external organisations to preparation for attending online and in-person events. These collaborations, varied and complex as they were, expanded my understanding of how effective communication and teamwork, both internally and externally, can do wonders.

This is especially true for VSI where solidarity and the relationships we build, including our invaluable network of volunteers, is the lifeblood of the organisation. Recently, I attended SCI’s EPM where representatives from multiple SCI branches and partners met to explore how SCI can become more inclusive. This was a great opportunity to meet many of the amazing people in our network with whom I’d previously only communicated with electronically.

My last few months with VSI has brought a whole host of new tasks, including promoting VSI at volunteer events, nationally and internationally. My ESC has also come full-circle. Sean, VSI’s new Marketing and Communications ESC volunteer, joined the team at the start of September. Therefore, I’ve had to share my knowledge on the skills and practices which are essential to the role.

I’d like to conclude by thanking Helen, Aine, Eiméar, and Sean for all of the support and teamwork we’ve been involved in and how well we’ve gotten to know each other socially throughout the ESC. I’d also like to extend my thanks to all of the ESCs abroad which I have kept in regular contact with throughout my time. It’s been interesting to receive your updates and to see all of the amazing photos from your experiences! For those thinking about taking part in their own VSI and/or ESC adventure, I can tell you first-hand that it’s worth doing. You’ll learn new skills while becoming more confident and experienced in learning the power of your own abilities. Every volunteer brings new perspectives and skills, and I can’t wait to hear about the great work VSI’s future volunteers will get up to.

So long for now.

Looking forward to meeting you all out in the world!

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