Team members tell their stories

10 November 2005

The volunteer team at the Geneva office is a critical part of ICVolunteers, without which the organization could not run. Long-term volunteers, taking on responsibility for membership services, fundraising, translation and more, help the organization in a significant way. Each year, ICVolunteers offers a number of internships, in particular in the field of translation (specifically for English, French and Spanish).

Sobia Zafar, originally from Pakistan, tells her experience. "I learned a lot with ICVolunteers. Especially at the UN, I got the chance to improve my writing skills. Since I had to submit writing on time. Reporting at the Sub-Commission on Human Rights was not only a friendly interaction, but also a chance to meet people I would not have otherwise."

She continues with a smile: "At the office, I find the environment friendly and relaxed. I don't do it because I have to but because I would like and enjoy it." Sobia wrote the volunteer guide to India: "I liked the Indian project because I enjoy to do research. I thought that India was very similar to Pakistan, but by doing research I discovered that there are many difference. Seeing all of this, I feel like traveling more."

She concludes with an anecdote: "I learned how to take the bus, because before I only traveled by car, back in Pakistan and even here in Switzerland. I then had to learn how to use the Geneva public transportation system which was very new to me."

Christian Liani, originally from the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, speaks out. "Doing civil service helps civlists fulfill tasks which, otherwise, are not part of their everyday's life." My experience of the past two months at ICV gave me insight into the recruitment and coordination of volunteers for events, an activity I did not know anything about before. However, thanks to the help of my colleagues at the ICV office, I was quickly able to find my place corresponding to my skills and thus share my knowledge in the field of information technologies. It was a rich experience for me which I can only recommend to future civilists."

Marie Hervouët, originally from France and translation and interpretation student made an internship with ICV. She explains to us why she came to ICV.

"I was looking for an internship finalizing my studies when I heard about ICV and its activities appeared very interesting to me. I started my internship back in April 2005, during which I had the occasion to work as an interpreter for the European University of Volunteering in Lucerne. This was a challenging and at the same time rewarding experience. I also was able to participate in the Gorbatchev Conference, this time handing out headphones and welcoming participants. It is not every day that one sees personalities such as Gorbatchev. Unfortunately, I only saw him for about 30 minutes. During this time, I was able to observe the excellent work of the interpreters. They had not been able to prepare themselves, as the debate was a round table rather than a presentation of prepared speeches. Having myself experienced working as an interpreter, I was aware of the difficulty of the task at hand." Sitting with her arms crossed, Marie says with a timid voice: "I always thought I did not want to work in this highly demanding profession... It remains very exciting though. ICV gives me a chance to practice some and learn more about where I want to take my professional carrier."

As shown in these three testimonies, each day at ICV brings a new experience and a new step of sharing and exchange.

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