What position do you hold at One World Center? What has been your career path so far?
Anthony: My most recent position at One World Center (OWC) is Director, after being the Program manager for 3 years. Since I left my former career as an artist/designer (not because I wasn’t enjoying it, but because my experience as a volunteer instilled in me a desire to continue working with the human issues of poverty), I decided to work together with likeminded people who want to create positive change in the world.
My title is not as relevant as the team I work with, because with good team work we all make sure everything gets the attention it needs, and for my future I aspire to continue working with a team, addressing the big issues, and doing what it takes.
Did YOU volunteer abroad?! If so, where and what inspired you to go?
Anthony: I joined this program as a volunteer in 2006 because I felt a need to go to Africa and help people who were less fortunate than me. I worked at a teacher training college and taught many things, but during the training I also learned so much about the world that I never knew before.
I studied world history, world economics and power structures, colonization of different countries, food production, climate change, Portuguese, and different teaching methods. It seemed the more I learned the less I knew! I also became more understanding and compassionate for the struggles of many groups of people, human rights issues, and why the poor exist, so as I could better understand what I could actually do.
This program also made it very clear for me that the big issues we are and will all face, are better dealt with if we work together, building comradeship among each other, something I knew very little about before.
What does the future hold for One World Center - any exciting new programs to share?
Anthony: The future of OWC is to continue making a profound impact on people who can than create change in their lives, their community, and our world. Our program is a development project in itself, as we are constantly evaluating and finding better ways to educate and apply our new knowledge in progressive and practical ways.
We are building a sustainable campus with a vegetable and fruit production, rain catch drip irrigation, bees, chickens, fish, and currently finding solutions to move into renewable energy. Our campus can accommodate 65 people which combined is a lot of power that we can take out into the communities and support local initiatives to address social issues, and spread the message that our true power is realized by us working together.
What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?
Anthony: The service period when our Development Instructors team up with a development project in an African country has many important benefits. This is the time for the participant to use their understanding that they have gained in the studies to influence each and every action and decision they make.
They go to serve the project, bring new energy, and implement new innovative and sustainable ways for the project to better achieve its mission. Sharing a part of our lives in this way has a big impact on the people and communities we serve, and a big impact on our own understanding of the struggle to survive in poverty.
Our working and living together with a sincere desire to make improvements and friends can instill a real sense of power and self-worth to those we get close to. Our high level of education and understanding can be shared on many levels using language, posters, and gestures in the class room and out with creative cross cultural communication. Often our Development Instructors express the feeling that they actually received much more than they could give, which can inspire them to stay on with this important work.