Jersey Overseas Aid, the island’s official, publicly-funded relief and development agency, will be launching its 2023 volunteering projects at an event on Tuesday 15th November.
Islanders who are interested in joining one of the three, two-week trips which will take place throughout 2023, are invited to join the Jersey Overseas Aid (JOA) team at St Paul’s Centre at 5:30pm on Tuesday 15th November to find out more about the projects, which will see up to 36 islanders travel to Nepal, Kenya and Rwanda.
Deputy Carolyn Labey, Jersey’s Minister for International Development said: “We are delighted to be announcing a full programme of overseas volunteering opportunities for 2023. The event is a fantastic opportunity to hear from the latest cohort of volunteers who travelled to Kenya this summer, as well as hearing from the charities that Jersey Overseas Aid is partnering with to deliver these incredible volunteering opportunities.”
Since 1972, JOA has facilitated parties of volunteers to work with communities in developing countries for up to four weeks. As well as bringing lasting benefits to poor and vulnerable people, these projects serve to enhance Jersey’s international reputation and also play an important part in islanders’ own personal development. Many have led to lasting links with communities all over the world, and several local charities were born from volunteers’ experiences abroad.
Over the past half century more than 1,000 volunteers had completed over 100 projects in some of the world’s poorest communities.
Deputy Carolyn Labey. continued: “JOA’s mission is to translate the generosity, skills and compassion of the people of Jersey into effective assistance for the world’s most vulnerable people – and our volunteering programme delivers exactly this. We are incredibly proud of our volunteering programme and even more thrilled that we continue to be oversubscribed with applicants for every project.
“It says an incredible amount about the people of Jersey that so many Islanders are willing to give their time and their skills to help build schools and community centres, construct water pumps in rural villages and build critical infrastructure, such as dams, that enable people in some of the poorest countries in the world to build themselves a future.”
Due to Covid-19 restrictions JOA was unable to send volunteers to support overseas projects in 2020 and 2021 but 2022 saw 12 islanders travel to Tawa, Kenya, with JOA’s partner, Sand Dams Worldwide, to work with members of the local community to build a sand dam.
Each overseas volunteering project is organised by JOA and is delivered in the field by one of JOA’s partner organisations. Each group is usually formed of about twelve volunteers and is led by an experienced team leader. Volunteers participate in training and team-building exercises in the months before departure.
Participants contribute towards their travel expenses, which are heavily discounted, and JOA funds the additional costs of the trip. JOA also funds materials and supplies necessary in order to complete the projects. Bursaries are also available to volunteers as JOA wants to ensure that financial circumstances are never a barrier to enabling Islanders to deploy their skills in the service of others abroad.
Islanders can book a place for the Tuesday 15th November event here or by emailing the JOA team. The evening will see former volunteers share their experiences, JOA will share details of the forthcoming projects and give an overview of what volunteers can expect to be doing before they travel.
Islanders who cannot attend the event but who are interested in volunteering overseas can email enquiries to Jersey Overseas Aid to register their interest.