Why did you get involved with BVDA?
I initially was drawn to BVDA because of its sustainable and worthwhile projects. I went to Malawi in 2018 with five other volunteers on a social project, to promote HIV/AIDS awareness, teach WASH and promote youth development. It was an incredible experience, working closely with an NGO and supporting them in what they wanted to achieve. After this, I wanted to be part of the committee and over my 4 years at UoB I have had the roles of Publicity and Social Media officer, Vice-President and President. I have learnt so much from these roles, from practical skills like web design and recruitment, to personal skills such as confidence and organisation.
Why have you enjoyed this year?
This year I particularly enjoyed taking part in the fundraising mini project. As a committee, we short listed project proposals from our partners, before deciding on the Beekeeping project in Nepal that aimed to support women for a minimum of 2 years, providing them with valuable skills for the future. To fundraise for this, we decided to collectively climb the height of Everest up the hills of Bristol. We tracked our height climbed on a group on Strava, and I really enjoyed seeing people’s different routes and their photos. It was a way to feel like we were doing something altogether despite the covid restrictions.
My other highlight from this year was SIDN, a student volunteering conference that we co-hosted virtually with EGP (from Edinburgh University) this year. Again, it was something that everyone on the committee and some volunteers got involved in, and it was very interesting to discuss local and international volunteering with another similar society. Attending SIDN in person in Edinburgh in 2019 is one of my overall highlights of my time in BVDA as it was a great opportunity to spend time with committee members who I didn’t go on project with.