Meet Victoria Prekate, Volunteer in Uganda

Meet Victoria Prekate, Volunteer in Uganda

Meet Viktoria Prekate from Greece. In the Interview she shares her experience of volunteering in the teaching program in Uganda and how Volunteering Solutions helped her in fulfilling her long standing desire of volunteering abroad.

Why did you chose to volunteer abroad ?

Volunteering abroad has been a dream since childhood. Somehow conditions weren't favourable until now and I am very grateful that, even at the age of 50, I was able to fulfill my dream.

What were you looking out of the experience?

I was looking for ways to contribute some of my skills in a way that was ethical and, as far as possible, fruitful. Of course, it was a first time experience and it took some time to adjust, but I learnt a lot and hopefully, I can be more productive next time!

What was the highlight of the trip, any favorite memory ?

The hoola-hoop ring brought many smiles among children and teachers at the primary school! There was even a little competition, who could last longer. Some kids were amazing. There was one who could walk, kneel down and stand up while doing the hoola hoop. Hidden talent is everywhere!

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it?

As I had not been in Sub-Saharan Africa before, my main fear was about disease- there's a lot of exaggerated information on the Internet! However, Volsol offered a comprehensive guide with detailed instructions, which helped a lot. So, I prepared myself with all recommended vaccinations/medicines and there was no problem whatsoever. Additionally, local staff were so supportive that I immediately felt I would be well-looked after, if I needed anything. The whole trip, including flights, was much less physically demanding than I had imagined. 

How did your views on the issue change?

Local grassroot organizations are very competent and dedicated in helping the disadvantaged communities. Yet volunteers of different specializations can each bring their own expertise on the field and a fruitful discussion can result.It is also very beneficial for us from the West to have this direct experience, it changes one's perspective. 

Any other tips for future volunteers?

Don't be afraid to venture on this trip. For mature volunteers: it is never too late and your caring, friendly presence in these vulnerable communities does mean a lot.

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