Alumni Spotlight: Judy Low

Love to travel and experience new cultures, food & activities. Enjoy making new friends.

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Why did you choose this program?

I wanted to give back and found out about IVHQ, a perfect platform for me to experience and give back to the world. I’ve always wanted to try out volunteer jobs and the perfect opportunity came about when one of my friends introduced me to IVHQ. I chose the program in Sri Lanka for various reasons:
1) I wanted to volunteer in a country which required more assistance, in particular the less developed countries.
2) I was interested in the projects that the Sri Lanka program had to offer.
3) I wanted to see Sri Lanka and experience the culture myself.

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

IVHQ provided very clear information, which helped me get the things on the checklist done easily. All I had to do was follow the program guide and checklist diligently. Whenever I was unsure, I just needed to email my Program Manager (Samantha Pigott). She was very helpful and responsive and it helped me a lot to get the things on the checklist checked.

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

I would highly recommend for new volunteers to go through the online courses. It will help a lot in managing your expectations. If you have extra time, go through the reviews from other volunteers as well. Join the volunteer groups suggested and ask questions to help clear any doubts you might have.

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

Depending on the country, a chunk of your time will be spent on travelling to the projects, as most less developed countries do not have the kind of public transportation like developed countries. Once you get to the project & start your volunteering, it will be one of the most rewarding experiences.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

The uncertainties, doubts and the unknown were my biggest fears. I overcame it through making friends with the other volunteers, as well as through the helpful project coordinators. My views have completely changed as uncertainties, doubts and the unknown can be surprisingly delightful if you approach it with an open mind.

How to manage your emotions when you have to deal with the pain & sufferings of the less fortunate?

Do your best and invest genuinely in helping. Due to the limited time spent on volunteering, you may feel you have not done enough; just remember that every little bit counts. Give your best and the rest will follow through.