Congratulations to Lindsay Walthert, who was recently named a 2013 PFF Community Leadership Program Fellow. As an undergraduate student in international development and globalization with a minor in business administration, Lindsay will work in Tëta Piau, Bolivia, in collaboration with two local partners, the Fundación Desarrollo y Autogestión and the Fundación Outa Vae. The Centre for Global and Community Engagement (CGCE) sat down with Lindsay to learn her thoughts on her future community engagement experience in Bolivia:
CGCE: In a few days, you will travel to Bolivia with a PFF Fellowship in hand from the Centre for Global and Community Engagement (CGCE). What are your thoughts?
LW: I have been working on this project since November; I’m looking forward to getting started with the implementation phase! I’ve done as much as I can to prepare from Canada and now I need to meet with the partner organization, meet the community members and get to work there. My family is extremely supportive but since we are very close, leaving is always a difficult trade-off for me. Luckily, I’ve had a lot of help from everyone, especially the CGCE, and I know that will continue while I am away.
CGCE: How did you prepare yourself to live abroad for a year as a volunteer? Any concerns?
LW: I have been doing a lot of reading to learn about the history and background of where I am going. I’ve also taken the opportunity to speak with many professors, international development professionals and even the Bolivian ambassador. Each conversation has provided me with new information, considerations and advice. I don’t have any worries per se, but I am interested to see how my plans and schedules will work on the ground. I imagine that it will be quite different from what I expect.
CGCE: We have up to two more fellowships to be awarded in April 2014 for student-led initiatives. How did you come up with your project idea? What advice would you give to a uOttawa student who is interested in volunteering on a social-change project but doesn’t know where to start?
LW: I had friends in Bolivia that I met when I did a Canada World Youth exchange there. I asked them what type of project they saw a need for, locally. My advice to other students is to find a project you are passionate about, make a commitment you can meet, and from there, other opportunities will present themselves.
Do YOU have an innovative idea on how to create positive social change in a community? Check out http://www.servingothers.uottawa.ca/pff/home.html and please attend one of our upcoming 2013-2014 information sessions:
Info session: September 19, 2013
Info session: October 22, 2013
Info session: November 20, 2013
Working session: January 14, 2014
Deadline to submit your project proposal: February 7, 2014