The first time I heard about the Global Citizen Award was during the EIL pre-departure workshop, to prepare us for our journey and projects, where we also got to hear about past volunteers experiences and how the Global Citizen Award helped them on their return to share with the community what they have learned and experienced. That day I went home and checked out the website and the video about the process, read through some past years participants and got even more inspired and I just applied, and started planning that's when my journey towards the Global Citizen Award began.
The journey began when I went for 6 weeks to join the volunteer project in Hanoi with organisation Volunteer Peace Vietnam, I was part of the team that was delivering Summer English school to the kids and adults in the community. (https://www.facebook.com/vpvcommunityclasses/)
Since I signed up for the Silver Award which required me to participate in pre-departure and welcome home trainings – these were already part of my commitment to volunteering with EIL. I then had to post a number of blogs about my experiences during the volunteering period and an carry out an actions project. I was assigned a mentor to help me in my journey of the Global Citizen Award, which was very helpful and inspiring as they have previously went through the process themselves so they played as a great motivator.
The action project I chose to do when I returned home was influenced by my hobby which involved running a photography exhibition with a talk in my college that was open to the public for 2 weeks.
The exhibition was called 'Be my eyes' and the aim was to raise awareness around the quality of education (No.4 of the Sustainable Development Goals) in Vietnam and to get people to see what I saw, and wipe away any stereotypes and to get people thinking on important global issues.
Global Citizen Award is a great framework and guidance for you to do something with the knowledge and experience you have received during your volunteering and a chance to become a global citizen and raise awareness on the SDG.
The GCA ceremony took place in April 2017 in Smoke Alley Theatre and it was unforgettable day. It was inspiring to see all the volunteers and hearing about their projects and it was a great to feel unified pride and achievement.
By Aleksandra Ananica