Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they’re worthless, but because they’re priceless.

– Sherry Anderson –

Volunteering in a non-profit organization is an amazing experience. You will meet new people, you will help to change something to better, either in the local community or even in the world. What’s more, you will get your first real working experience,something you can put on your resume. Such an experience will make a lot of difference later on, when you apply for your first paid job.

 

  • Let’s introduce yourself brief Jeramine

I’m Jeramine Alexander. I’m 23 years old and I’m a computer science graduate at Segies campus Nugegoda. I like to be creative and I like volunteering as well.

 

  • Okay Jeramine, spell out  about your Foreign  Project

Yes,The description that I am telling now, sends upon the experience actually rather than the description given in the website. Okay, so what actually happened was I worked at a primary school in Egypt, Zagazig, the academy called Rose Academy. So what I had to do was to go there to teach them something new. 

It was a contract between Dr. Harger and AIESEC in Zagazig, so I had to go there from 11.00 to 5.00 from Sunday to Thursday to teach kids Aged from two to thirteen . Basically that’s what I had done.

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  • How did you get on this golden turn?

Basically, my campus didn’t have AIESEC. So AIESEC in USJ established AIESEC in Sagies. They had the initial meeting for people who were interested in AIESEC and I was a part of it. That’s how I knew that there is something like this that you can actually go abroad and do cool projects. I was interested.

 

  • How did you come up with passport and visa preparations?

Okay, Special thanks to the AIESEC team. Especially Disuri, every single time that I needed to do something she told me and through AIESEC. AIESEC in USJ was a great support actually to make my passport. Because I didn’t have my passport done and I didn’t have the flu. They helped me a lot, to get a VISA, to get a passport and to get the ticket and everything as well. 

 

  • How would you adjust to work in a far off country like Egypt?

There are two things. One thing was the weather. It was not as expected. Because in Egypt, you think it is always sunny and adaptation to that weather was the biggest challenge I faced and that was affecting my working hours as well.

Another thing was to work. I tried to communicte with the principal Dr.Harger, I tried to explain how I would like to do things and how they would like to do. Then we came to the middle area where both parties were comfortable. That’s how I actually adapted to it.

 

  • Did you reach any EP buddies there? 

Yeah. The second day I was given an EP buddy. His name was Disokie and he was really helpful and was always there whenever I needed.

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  • When did you have your first cross cultural adventure and what was the nature of that experience?

Actually my very first cross cultural experience that I would consider as a heavy thing was with a Brazilian girl. We were roommates. At the first dinner we both tried to figure out what kind of food to have.She was not so fond of spicy foods and suggested eating cheese and bread.Although it’s unfamiliar to me, I enjoyed it.

At the moment I understood that Sri Lankans and Indians eat mostly spicy food. That was the first actual experience where I felt like; “wow my culture is so different”

 

  • What was the most discomforting thing you had to face there?

It’s a totally different culture.I was going to meet new people with whom I had never associated before.I took my cultural dress to wear there, like the salwar kameez, because that country is a very cultural place.But the people there looked at me abnormally. It made me  more embarrassed. It felt  like I was an alien. That’s it.

  • Could you please express the support you had from AIESEC Sri Lanka and what are the special mentions for the future participants?

I would actually recommend AIESEC Sri Lanka a hundred percent. Because they are the people who put their feet out there and do the work. They are really great. TEN OUT OF TEN.

This discussion about Jeramine’s volunteer story with AIESEC came to an end with her very agreeable words and we would like to add our genuine credit for allocating her time to mark these words. At the same time as the AIESEC in the University of Sri Jayewardenepura Team, we would like to wish her all the very best with her future endeavors as well as the hope of meeting her in future AIESEC projects as well.

We believe that “Life will only change when you become more committed to your dreams than you are to your comfort zone”, and AIESEC can be a supporting hand for that.

by Haseeba Wadood
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