Who are you?
I’m Anaïs, currently studying management at Saint-Louis University in Brussels.
Have you always been interested in global issues and wanted to volunteer, or is it recent?
I have always been interested in global issues. As a matter of fact, when I was younger, I wanted to be a doctor/lawyer/teacher to be able to help those who couldn’t afford it in poorer countries. That was before I realised I would have to study many many years in order to do that. My desire to help people hasn’t disappeared though. That’s why going on this experience seemed natural for me. I know 6 weeks might not change much for the community I will be going to, but I believe even small steps matter.
Why did you choose to apply for a project abroad with AIESEC?
The first time I heard about AIESEC was 3 years ago. One of my best friends had just joined the organisation as a member, and she was telling me about how it was offering opportunities to work on different projects abroad. Through the years, I got to know AIESEC even more, and its vision really spoke to me. The recent climate marches only confirm that the youth is the future, and that change will happen through them. That’s why giving them opportunities to develop their leadership, and making them see and understand the world is important.
3 year later, I’m going on this project with that very same friend.
Tell us a bit more about the project you chose, why you chose that one?
So it wasn’t easy to choose a project. There were so many, and all very interesting, but in the end we chose 2 projects. One was about woman empowerment, the other was about hunger. We decided to apply for both. After talking to the project managers, we chose the one about hunger. The project manager had done the project herself and she even showed us some videos from when she was there. Although the first opportunity looked amazing, we decided to go for the second one.
So we’ll be working with children and women. We’ll teach them about sanitation, and ensure them nutritional support by finding sustainable solutions to their condition.
What are you expecting from this 6 weeks experience? What are you most looking forward to?
I expect to be totally out of my comfort zone, to face challenges, and to feel lost sometimes (laughs). No, to be honest, I am really looking forward to this. Although I have already done some volunteering projects, I have never had the chance to experience something like this. The people who have gone on these projects, and whom I have talked to all seem to have at least learned something about themselves. I’m of course also looking forward to traveling with my friend to unknown places. It’s going to be one hell of an adventure!
Any last words?
I don’t know what awaits us, and I don’t know how life changing it will be. However, I’m sure I will never regret it. I’ve learned that the things you regret most, are the opportunities you have missed. That’s why I tell myself: “Just go for it”!