In March I was lucky enough to be able to take a sabbatical from work to travel, after putting off the desire to see more of the world for years due to busy workplaces, an absolute inability to save (G&Ts really are very expensive in London) and to be honest a real fear to step out of my stable, comfortable life. This was by far the best decision I have ever made (!!) and I had an absolutely amazing first 4 months travelling around South America, seeing amazing things and trying to improve my pigeon Spanish. But about half-way through I realised I wanted to do more, I wasn’t that great at lazing around, and I wanted to use this time to travel with purpose and learn.
Then in Ecuador – browsing the web with a beer in hand on the beach – _SocialStarters literally jumped out at me. I put that beer down and drafted my application straight away.
Creating social impact is something I’ve always been passionate about, which led me to a career in housing and regeneration. In the last 3 years I’d become very curious about social enterprises who seemed (to me) to be the new kid on the block, but had a huge power to deliver change in the communities within which I was also working. The opportunity to learn more about this, and help local change-makers, in a continent I’d always wanted to visit seemed almost too good to be true. But after a few weeks, and the challenge of finding an interview time to suit me and the team in 4 different time zones I received an offer – I was in!
Social Starters didn’t disappoint and has given me a true immersion experience. Spending 6 weeks in one area and working with two really inspiring local organisations to help them deliver change has given me a real insight into local culture. From celebrating Ganesh Pooja with my client’s family (and being fed until I burst!), to having a sound-bath in Auroville, to teaching musical statues to an Indian gypsy community; I’m certain I’ve gained far more experiences than I ever would have gained had I continued my backpacking mode of travel.
I’ve also learnt a huge amount about myself, and am so appreciative I got the opportunity to surround myself with amazing like-minded people and learn so much about such an important industry for creating impact in our world.
#JoinUs on a programme and volunteer with grassroots social entrepreneurs.
India – 24th October (6 weeks) || Brazil – 31st October (6 weeks) || India – 31st January (6 weeks) || Sri Lanka – 13th February (6 Weeks) || Brazil – 19th March (6 weeks) . To apply, send your email with a cover note to firstname.lastname@example.org and clearly state in the subject heading which programme and what date you are applying for. If successful, you will invited to a Skype interview with one of the team!