May I introduce myself? My name is Bianca Gerald. I reside in England in the UK. I am a singer/songwriter and musician. I am always striving to learn more about the world, different cultures and explore this wonderful earth.
Fast forward to Bali, Indonesia – the destination of my volunteering placement ‘Radio Active’ with my host organisation ‘Act Global’. At the time of writing I am two weeks into my project with a further two weeks left. The reason I chose to take part in Radio-Active the project is because I have a big interest in media, culture, documenting and radio. The opportunity to learn more about these sectors whilst building my skills in these areas was a golden one.
Radio Active is focused on the making of a documentary and a podcast related to any social issue the volunteer/s chose to explore and document/discuss. Day to day life in my project is very fulfilling. I can be based within the office working area editing and preparing my documentary and podcast whilst also planning some extra activities I have decided to do such as a music workshop with local young people and I can also be out and about gathering footage for my project, taking images, interviewing local people and soaking in the culture.
My host organization in their own words:
“Act Global is an international not for profit organisation based in the United Kingdom and Indonesia. Established in 2012, Act Global was set up to support the non-formal education sector by creating international projects that look at global issues such as poverty and inequality, while also creating an international platform for sharing best practice in the sector.
Our organisation focuses around three thematic areas: climate change, poverty reduction and social cohesion. Any project we deliver must meet one or more of these thematic areas. Although the foundation of our projects centres around these ideas, in essence Act Global is a peace programme aimed at developing positive cultural relations between people and nations. We develop and deliver international projects for young people and organisations working with young people, whilst also working closely with our partner NGOs, businesses and other funders. We believe that young people grow best through access to a global education, contact with people from different cultures and being exposed to new positive educational experiences. It’s also our hope that by supporting the development of global citizens, we can foster a more peaceful, sustainable and prosperous world.”
I am staying at a place named Futsal House off of a main road named Jalan Pemogan. I stay with four other volunteers in a house of five. The volunteer accommodation is a 5-minute walk from Futsal House. In terms of food sometimes people eat out at local restaurants named ‘Warungs’ or cook at home. The restaurant food here in Denpasar is cheap and tasty however the downside is that they use a lot of MSG so I have decided to buy my food, fruit and vegetables at the markets and cook at home which really suits the budget living allowance that we are given as well as looks after my nutrition.
During my project so far there has been good and bad with a lot of learning in between. Being from a culture that is not popular in Bali has meant that there have been some very welcoming, beautiful and kind people. However there has also been some people (local and volunteer) who can be quite ignorant to different cultures for whatever reason. This at times has been uncomfortable and also at times alienating however I have strived through it with the reminder of the mission I have in hand and have focused on this.
Professionally working within such a great organization as ‘Act Global’ has meant that I have been able to exercise my qualities such as administration, organizing and workshop leading which is something that both Sebastian and Aine have welcomed and encouraged. I have also learned or more so been reminded that in life we will sometimes have to work alongside or exist alongside individuals who we would not normally socialize with. The ability to do this effectively and progressively is both humbling and life changing at times.
I already knew some basic Indonesian Bahasa language and since being here I have been able to expand and practice this. There is of course a language barrier that I feel I have overcome due to an interest in learning how to communicate, even if minimally.
Spare time has been spent visiting wonderful places like Bali’s cultural centre Ubud which is home to a local natural birth centre ‘Yayasan Bumi Sehat’, visiting the beaches, shops and restaurant and generally admiring the beauty and diversity that Bali has to offer.
This volunteering service is an amazing opportunity and I highly recommend you get in contact with Everything Is Possible (UK) as it could literally change your life for the better.
To conclude it would be fantastic to live a life of travel and world exploration and thanks to ‘Everything Is Possible’, ‘Act Global’ and ‘European Voluntary Services’ I have been able to add international work to my CV which I hope will help me to do just that.
Thank you for reading – signing off. Bianca Gerald, EVS (European Voluntary Service) volunteer
European Voluntary Service (EVS) project
part of EVS Radioactive
and supported by the Youth in Action programme of the European Commission (Now replaced by Erasmus+ )