Alumni Spotlight: Melanie Vaz Pita


Melanie is a 24-year-old from Portugal who was studying to become a teacher. Before she finished her degree, something in her mind told her to jump into the unknown and go on an adventure -- this led her to volunteering in Africa with CICD.

Why did you choose this program?

I was looking for something different, something new!

I chose a volunteering program that would challenge me and take me out of my comfort zone. I wanted to travel, see new realities, and help others. I chose this program because it offered everything I wanted and even more -- I always wanted to get to know different cultures and also live in a community!

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

Thankfully CICD help with everything -- food, accommodation, education, preparation, practicalities, everything! Together with my teammates and with support from CICD, I went to Mozambique for 6 months after being in the UK for another 6 months.

Without CICD this would simply have been impossible for me, and there's no way it would have been so successful without their help and support.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Get ready for the cold in the UK, and the heat in Africa! I would advise you to start fresh, let go of any preconceived ideas you have, be open to change, new experiences, and the adventure, and appreciate everything. Be flexible and you will have a great time!

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

Every day with CICD is different and challenging in its own way. You study things from a new point of view and are forced to form your own opinion, rather than relying on the opinions of others. Your life in the community makes each day unique, and your time there will depend on the project and country, but also on how much you are willing to help others.