Alex Noyes, UK
Volunteer Coordinator, 15/10/2013 to 30/05/2014
My name is Alex and I am currently working with the management team at VIN as the International Volunteer Coordinator. This is the second time I have worked at VIN in this position so I can clearly recommend it.
VIN is a small organization doing big work and as managing volunteers is a full time occupation it is very useful for VIN to have an extra pair of hands to focus on this. The International Volunteer Coordinator creates a cultural bridge of sorts between the Nepali VIN organization and the international volunteers. An important part of the position is to communicate regularly with the volunteers so that they feel fully supported and listened to. They currently number 23, with a good mix of nationalities, and are involved in a wide variety of projects ranging from Teaching, Construction, Women’s Empowerment, Heath and Environment.
Visiting volunteers at their placements gives you a good overview of the workings of a grassroots NGO and the opportunity to witness first hand the tangible benefits to the community that the work of VIN brings.
The feedback I gather helps VIN to have a better understanding of volunteers’ needs and concerns so it can anticipate these when there is no International Volunteer Coordinator available. Bhupi and his staff could not be more welcoming, dedicated, or open to new ideas – it is an absolute pleasure to be one of the team.
Because I am a native English speaker, I have also helped to edit texts and to make the current systems a little more streamlined. As I have a background in education, I have been able to offer support to those volunteers involved in the Teaching Projects.
To sum, I would describe the International Volunteer Coordinator role as a combination of ambassador, administrator, cross-cultural communicator, agony aunt and editor. I feel I have contributed to helping VIN in a meaningful and practical way and am looking forward to coming back a third time.