Raising awareness around disability
Elaine McGauran, a Dublin native and qualified human resources professional, has recently been placed with a local organisation in Tajikistan raising awareness around disability. This is her story.
I am currently based in Tajikistan working in Khujand the second largest city here. One of the key attractions for me was primarily that Tajikistan is one of the newest programme office VSO operate. And I recognised that working here would be a unique rewarding experience. The process from beginning to end was very straightforward.
A key attraction for me was that VSO will match your professional skills to a suitable vacancy in several locations around the world. The advantage to this is that when you arrive in country you have the necessary skills to try and make an impact. VSO provided very comprehensive training prior to departure which was very informative and useful. There was also training on arrival in Tajikistan.
I found this invaluable in providing information about the country and where you will be working. There is great network of support from fellow volunteers and the local programme office. I am here now two months working for a local organisation trying to promote awareness in the private section around the whole issue of disability and trying to promote an understanding that people with disabilities have great potential and can add value to organisations. It is early days yet but to date my experiences have been hugely awarding.
Yes there are frustrations particularly around language and local customs but nothing that cannot be overcome with some good humour. The people here are incredibly kind and gracious and welcoming. Volunteering with VSO – I would highly recommend it.
Interested in volunteering overseas like Elaine?
Find out more about our current volunteer vacancies now.