It takes a special kind of person to volunteer, and an even more special one to travel internationally to be a volunteer. It’s these people, alongside organisations like World Youth International that bring some of the greatest change to the world. We know the impact each volunteer has had when participating in a World Youth program, but now we want to know the impact World Youth has had on each volunteer. So we’ve reached out to volunteers from the 80’s, 90’s and beyond to see where they are now.
Where are they now? This is Kristin’s Story.
In 2011 Kristin Spurrier (Stone) took part in her first World Youth International program, in Odede, Kenya. Kristin left her first job out of University as a Graphic Designer to see more of the world by deciding to travel to Kenya to volunteer. Kristin wanted to volunteer to make a difference to someone’s life and in turn she hoped would change her for the better, choosing World Youth International because she trusted the organisation based on our ‘well thought out’ programs, which gave her confidence that her work would be successful. Spending 3-4 weeks in Kenya, Kristin helped Kenyan workers build a goat farm for 100 goats, and would go on to keeping livestock safe for increasing the town’s income.
Kristin’s days were often filled with digging holes, carrying materials to the top of the village - sometimes on her head - and back. However, she mentioned that her and the other volunteers and local workers ‘would still goof-off and have a laugh amongst each other, so it rarely felt like work’.
Aside from building the goat farm, Kristin also assisted on other World Youth International projects, including building a mud house for a local family, as well as assisting another volunteer with craft work, alongside local women in the town, which they would then sell, to generate income for those women and their families. Kristin’s volunteer group also organised a medical camp day, which facilitated doctors and nurses to provide medication to the townspeople.
Throughout her time, Kristin recollects hearing and seeing stories of poverty, but she said despite this ‘there was always a smiling face everyday too, a drive to keep going, being thankful for what was there, what they had’.
Kristin now works as a Graphic Designer for SA Health, and since participating in her volunteer program, she has maintained her sense of community and giving back by assisting in some charity drives, and offering her Graphic Design skills for free to charities. She keeps in touch with the volunteers she got to know through social media, and has met up with another South Australian volunteer, to collaborate on some creative projects.
When asked what she would say to anyone thinking about travelling overseas as part of a World Youth International program, she said ‘do it! Think of it like a career step-up, a life level-up, even if it’s not doing something that is related to your career or job, it will change your life’.
If you’re also passionate about giving back, and want to plan future trips, particularly when some of the communities we work within will need more support than ever, consider signing up in advance to our Volunteer programs. Our programs will run again as soon as travel restrictions ease.