Going Global: Who I am and how I became involved in CHF
When I first read about CHF’s Global Education program, I was at the beginning of my graduate degree in blood research. I had very little experience, and even less knowledge in the field of International Development. Although my South American and Caribbean heritage allow me to appreciate some of the challenges faced by the rural poor in developing countries, it was still a fairly new world for me. Yet, there was something so intriguing about learning about the challenges faced by people from all over the world and using that knowledge to engage Canadian students, and people in general, on the idea of Global citizenship. I couldn’t resist what seemed like one of the richest experiences that I could have outside of my academic life as a scientist.
I became an official Global Educator with CHF in the 2009-2010 academic year. That year was a busy one, during which I had the privilege of giving presentations to students all over British Columbia. A highlight was attending the annual Teacher’s Conference, which allowed me to engage educators on the importance of Global citizenship. It is always a privilege to share CHF’s unique emphasis on celebrating partnership in the rural communities in which it works.
After a great first year, I decided to plant my feet further into the soil of the Global Education Program by accepting the position of Lead Volunteer for the Global Education Program in Vancouver. I held this position during the 2010-2011 academic year and had the pleasure of recruiting, and leading, a passionate group of volunteers as they engaged young Canadians on important global issues. This was another rich, rewarding, experience for me and I loved the diverse challenges associated with this position. I was often surprised by the way that my perspective as a scientist enriched my experience and leadership. I was also incredibly surprised by the amount of knowledge that I gained about leadership in the volunteer sector.
After receiving the Jay Telfer award, I am preparing to dig even deeper into the program by visiting CHF’s project in Cambodia this spring. I feel a tremendous sense of blessing and gratitude and I am excited about the challenges as well as the rewards that no doubt await me in Kompong Speu province. During my period of preparation, I continue to reflect upon and celebrate the relationships and seeds of knowledge that have been planted in my life from the committed volunteers and staff that make the program what it is.
I am eagerly anticipating reporting back on the adventure that awaits! What would you like to hear about?
Jasmine Hamilton is a Global Education Lead Volunteer with in Vancouver CHF. She will be visiting a CHF project in rural Cambodia and documenting her experiences as part of an ongoing series called 'Going Global'.