Challenges Worldwide is an educational charity organization which delivers support to social businesses through volunteers. LinkmeUg caught up with Nicola Smith – the Country Program Manager, and a team from the organization on how and why youth should volunteer with Challenges Worldwide.
Who can volunteer with Challenges Worldwide?
Nicola: Volunteers should be 18-25years and team leaders should be 23-35yrs. You should have interest or experience in business. Qualification is not the issue; the program needs commitment, drive, team work, flexibility, and ability to take on a problem and solve it.
What is the aim of this program?
Nicola: We take on volunteers through a program called International Citizen Service – ICS through which youth build capacity, creativity and develop skills in business, develop personal and professional skills which will not only increase their chances of being employed but also eradicate poverty in their communities.
How the program is conducted
Nicola: ICS is a 3 month residential program. We pair a Ugandan volunteer with a UK volunteer and the two are placed in a beneficiary business. Their work is to support that business for 11-12 weeks by conducting research on the business, it’s strengths, weakness, and opportunities based on that analysis. The volunteers make recommendations and then spend the rest of their time implementing them.
Are volunteers trained to offer this support to businesses?
Nicola: Challenges worldwide together with the Chartered Management Institute of the UK offer training throughout the period starting with a week’s training and consultancy session to equip volunteers with tools and skills to be able to gather the information on the business and implement recommendations.
How did you get into Challenges Worldwide?
Lynna Abaho [UG volunteer]: I graduated with a B.A in journalism, when I did not get a job, I looked for opportunities online to keep me busy. I found Challenges Worldwide on Facebook, and followed them to their website where I filled in an application and was called for an assessment.
Jacob Williams [UK Volunteer]: I wanted to do something for others rather than myself and be able to cause impact in a community. Of the several volunteering opportunities, I think Challenges Worldwide has a program that is directly focused on something practical and has tangible impact.
What happens after the volunteering program?
Nicola: After the program, we want young people to make a difference in their communities through the skills gained, connections established.
Sharon Anena [Former Volunteer]: After my 3 months, I became a team leader and thereafter joined several other Alumni. Now I spread the gospel about the program. Challenges Worldwide helps us network with several people and that’s how I got a job.
How to apply
Nicola: This is a full time volunteer program of 3 months currently supporting businesses in and around Kampala. Go to Facebook, look for Challenges Worldwide follow the link provided, fill in the application form and send it to the given email. http://challengesworldwide.com/
The Next session starts late June and we are looking for 20 Ugandans.
Nicola: It’s tough to get in so give it your best as you apply. Convince us on why should we take you on as a volunteer.
By Prossy Nyafono
Online Media for youth
Email: [email protected]