Alumni Spotlight: Emma L Norman Mallon

Originally from New England, Emma currently works in the UK for a non-profit organization. She has participated in three international volunteer projects, and has acted as a leader on two. She went to Quebec through VFP in the summer of 2012.

St. Laurent in Canada

Why did you decide to volunteer with Volunteers for Peace in Canada?

Emma:This was my third project through VFP--my first was in 2007. I had previously volunteered in Europe, and I wanted to have a similar experience in a francophone region, closer to home. The projects are affordable, and offer a wonderful way to meet new friends and get involved in small community projects.

Describe your day to day activities as a volunteer.

Emma:The activities consisted of various jobs that needed to be done for the community. The biggest undertakings were painting two huge signs for the community sports fields, and constructing a new ramp, to make the community center wheelchair accessible. We also did gardening, landscaping, and exterior painting.

What made this experience unique and special?

Emma:This project brought a group of fifteen international volunteers to a tiny rural town in Quebec, that would never experience such diversity, otherwise. Being a fairly isolated location, I found that the intercultural exchange between the volunteer group and the local community to be immensely rewarding. The location itself was also stunning, as it was just a few miles from the Saint-Laurent. In our free time, we were able to visit a provincial park, see waterfalls, swim in rivers and lakes, and take beautiful hikes.

How has this experience impacted your future?

Emma:As I've been involved with international voluntary service for over five years, now, these experiences have truly shaped the way I learn about and continue to explore the world around me. I continue to volunteer, locally and internationally, and have found employment in the non-profit sector.