So I’m heading off to Tajikistan, after much persuasion I’ve decided to do a blog on my journey. I thought when better to start than with the pre journey nerves!
Tajikistan is a country I had never heard of until August of last year when I was offered employment going out there to support a group of volunteers. I’ve always thrived on new challenges and adventures and love travelling and experiencing new places so I grabbed the opportunity and didn’t think too much about it! Now 6 months later the time has arrived for me to leave…SHIT!!
This country is definitely the most unheard of/random/obscure and daunting I have ever visited but that in itself is making me excited (and a bit scared)! When in Tajikistan I will be supporting a group of 20 young volunteers, 10 UK volunteers and 10 local volunteers (3 Afghan nationals, 3 Afghan refugees living in Tajikistan and 4 Tajik volunteers). The volunteers will be working in various placements with the overall theme of Women’s Participation. I feel extremely lucky to have the opportunity to work with such a diverse group of young people in a completely different culture to my own. I feel passionately about young people experiencing cultures and environments different to their own as an effective tool for personal development. Human Rights and equality has also been something I have felt very passionate about for as long as I remember, therefore I feel (and hope!) this role is well suited with my own values. I have no doubt this experience will challenge my own perceptions, values and attitudes to the max!!
Personally I feel I am ready for a new challenge and am looking forward to the next 4 months. Many people can’t understand why I am going, some have asked me ‘has youth work funding dried up that much you have to go there for work’! In reality this is a choice I made and a challenge I voluntary took up! I love my life in Belfast, I have an amazing family and great friends and live the life I love but one thing I truly believe in is you can only bring people to where you’re at yourself. As I hold my role as a Youth Worker in such high esteem I want to ensure I am as effective as I possibly can be in this role. So as challenging young people is something I believe in I thought I better keep challenging myself!
“Not all those who wander are lost”
I’ll report more from Tajikistan eek!!!