You might not have followed the last episodes of my search for a more fulfilling future… so here is a little summary!
My volunteering experience in SVG (AKA Saint Vincent and the Grenadines) in a totally new environment and with a totally different focus than my previous job really helped me put words on my feelings and on the direction that I want to give to my life. You probably remember my favorite sentence of the last 2 years: “but I have no idea what to do next and it really stresses me out!”.
Well, I finished my incredible mission in August and came back toEurope, very determined to find a job/mission in the field of international solidarity and environmental protection, because yes, that is what I want to do. In SVG, I found a philosophy of life that corresponds to my values and I want to stick to it: “Earth care, People care, Fair share”. I want to keep living a life that has the least impact possible on the world, while caring for the people that need it most and make sure that resources are shared in a fair way.
So, back in Europe, while on the lookout for different possibilities (volunteering, NGOs, jobs…) I kept wandering around, visiting friends and family, with my base-camp in the south of France, as usual! So, there I am, after about 18 months away, visiting Amsterdam, Umeå, Mo I Rana, Brighton, St. Neots, Tarbes, Zurich, Stockholm, Lyon, Paris, Lisbon… many different environments, people, and ideas! Of course, some time in nature is always welcome!
To keep things simple, and avoid too much confusion, I will skip the whole Lisbon episode. Or not, it has its importance in the process, I guess… Ok, just briefly then. Mid October, amid a desperate job hunt, I was contacted by a company in Lisbon. They offered relocation and airport pick-up, so I had no reason to say no! I spent 1 month in this beautiful city, getting to know people that I would probably never have talked to in any other circumstances and a work environment that doesn’t resemble anything I have ever done either (call centre environment = not my thing!). All this to say that it kept me really motivated to keep looking for something that matches more my goals.
Mid-December, I met some future volunteers from an organisation I had not yet heard of: LP4Y – LIFE PROJECT 4 YOUTH – lp4y
“In 2009, a group of friends, entrepreneurs and young people from Europe, Asia and the United States created Life Project 4 Youth, a movement dedicated to the integration of Young People living in extreme poverty and victims of exclusion. In each Life Project Center and in the Green Villages, the Young People follow an educational program, accompanied by a coach. LP4Y believes profoundly that all Youth have potential. The entrepreneurial activities they undertake with LP4Y catalysts (volunteers) provide them with experiences that allow them to become actors in their own lives, and active participants in a more inclusive, sustainable and prosperous world.”
One of the projects that really resonated with me was the Green Villages: “LP4Y began building the first Green Village in the Philippines in 2013, with the aim of supporting young people from rural and remote areas, and providing an ecological model that could be replicated by local communities.”
Needless to say, it caught my attention, especially the part about Green Villages, and that within a few hours’ time, I went through the whole website and decided to apply! (a bit like when I found out about Richmond Vale Academy 2 years ago! – remember? “leaving-again-why?” ) From there everything went really fast. A couple interviews with different members of the organization, and I was accepted as a future Catalyst with the following mission: Green Village Coordinator in Myanmar – “The Green Village pedagogy was replicated in India, Nepal, Vietnam, and soon in Myanmar. This means that you will be organizing and managing the project (schedules, reporting, team organization), developing partnerships (local community, businesses, educational partners), and a lot more, all in close relation with the different teams of LP4Y.”
Beginning of January was the “before departure training” of all the future volunteers, where I had the opportunity to meet the people that I am going to work with, new and former volunteers, exchange about our feelings, expectations, fears, opportunities, challenges… These 4 days were a breath of fresh air: meaningful conversations, sharing, lots of questions, a feeling of reality, understanding the context, more sharing, emotions… This gave me the feeling that I am joining an organisation that has great values and that is very supportive for all parties involved and this is super important when it comes to giving your time and energy to a project! I feel reassured and confident to take part in such a project.
Life has been very generous with me. I am lucky to have this opportunity and the possibility to do whatever I set my mind to. On top of that, I am lucky to be surrounded by so many amazing people. People that I love and that give me so much more love in return, people that inspire me, that support me, that are incredible, and unique. People that embrace their uniqueness and mine, each in their own way. That’s why I feel so empowered and ready for this new endeavor! THANK YOU!