Volunteer Profile: Amanda Alderman

  1. What are the basics: Name/Job/Location/life goal (can be serious/funny/quirky)?

Amanda Alderman/SMTS Quality Engineering/Vancouver/Goal: To explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to… lol joking J

  1. How and why did you get involved with Venture 2 Impact?

V2I and David Alston came to the Saint John office and gave an overview of their work in Uganda and it was really inspiring. I kept in touch over time and saw how their areas of focus expanded and was really excited to be able to be involved.

  1. What is your favorite part of Venture 2 Impact?

I think my favorite part is that V2I really has learned from their past experiences and is committed to helping communities solve problems in sustainable ways. I like that the main goal is to make sure that any projects worked on will continue without us. This really makes you feel like you’re contributing to something lasting for the community.

  1. What has been your most rewarding experience with Venture 2 Impact?

Honestly, I’d say the most rewarding part of the experience has been that it didn’t just end when the trip ended. I love hearing about the other trips and opportunities even if I don’t get to go on them. I am really glad that things like the story workshop and updates on our trip are provided and keep you in touch and involved with what’s going on. Fadi often says we’re part of the family now and that is really what it feels like.

On the trip itself, the most rewarding experience was  getting to know a few people, having an insight into their daily lives, and seeing people give so much to their local community, especially like Anugrah. It was so much more enlightening than just being a tourist. I feel a lot more connected to India from having met people there than I think I would have doing a tour and keeping in touch with other random tourists. Also, building a relationship with the people that came on the trip who had similar goals was also really rewarding.

  1. How has your experience Venture 2 Impact influenced you the most?

It’s certainly helped to open my mind to the idea of poverty and to think about what poverty really is rather than just ingesting the message of poverty that’s sold to me by media, society, etc. I honestly think that the influence from working with V2I is ongoing and will have a long lasting impact on my life in a way that I cannot yet articulate.

  1. What have you learned since volunteering with Venture 2 Impact? Has your perspective changed?

Again I’d say the biggest lesson was that there are different ways to help communities. Also that while going somewhere and building a school or something isn’t bad,  it might not be the best way to help the community. I think it’s really helped me to look deeper at what kind of contribution I want to make. It’s definitely changed my perspective on the types of trips or what organizations I will contribute to in the future.

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Our family has seen various levels of poverty during our travels. To help combat poverty we mostly made donations in the past. More recently, I’ve volunteered at our local community school and my husband joined the board for a high school in a vulnerable community. As our sense of the importance of community increased over the years, we have become more interested in contributing our time, in a meaningful way.

Everyone Can Make an Impact

I had long thought about ways to give back to the broader community when I stumbled across Venture 2 Impact for the first time. In all my attempts to try and find a way to give back I was struggling with finding something where I felt I could really contribute uniquely with my specific skill set in a way that seemed sustainable to the community I was trying to help.

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“I feel supercharged. What I experienced in Romania with the kids and young adults can combat 1,000 bad days.”


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