More than 100 Jersey islanders joined Jersey Overseas Aid’s (JOA), sharing their experiences of volunteering, while the panel of experts led the interesting discussion on future volunteering trends.
This year JOA, the island’s official, publicly-funded relief and development agency, is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its overseas volunteering programme, Community Work Projects (CWP). As part of this celebratory year, JOA hosted an event led by a panel of international and local experts who shared their views about the future of volunteering.
The panel included:
- Alice Chadwick El-Ali, Senior Research and Policy Officer, UK Collaborative on Development Research
- David Jordan OBE, Chairman, Sand Dams Worldwide,
- Philip Goodwin, CEO, VSO International
- Deputy Carolyn Labey, Jersey’s Minister for International Development, Chair of the JOA Commission and former CWP volunteer
- Mike Haden, Chairman of Jersey charity, Hands Around the World Jersey
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 Community Work Projects serve to raise awareness in Jersey of global development issues, 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. By 2021 over 1,000 volunteers had completed over 100 projects in some of the world’s poorest communities.
In 2022, JOA hopes to send two cohorts of volunteers to undertake Community Work Projects. The first group will be flying out to Kenya in June to work with JOA’s partner, Sand Dams International, building sand dams in the South of the country. The second group will be travelling to Nepal to work alongside local charity, the Gurkha Welfare Trust Jersey, later in the year.