Staff Spotlight: David Thibault

Staff Member - Jakarta

Tell us a little about IHF and your role at the company.

volunteer in Indonesia

Thibault: IHF is a grassroots organization promoting equality through free and fair access to children from most vulnerable communities. We work in Indonesia, Thailand and Kenya. Our centers are both children's home and education center. In IHF Jakarta, where I have been working for almost a year now, we have 5 kids living permanently at the center, in addition we offer English, Maths and computer classes to about 300 children from the neighborhood. Besides daily teaching and various administrative tasks, I supervise our Media department, and I also work on Fundraising duties.

How did you get involved in the volunteer industry?

Thibault: Getting into the volunteer industry sounded quite logical to me. After having studied Political Sciences focusing on Development Studies in South East Asia, I have been working for the UN in Indonesia. This was an absolutely wonderful and enriching experience but I had the feeling that I needed to enlarge the scope of my professional experience by getting into a job more field oriented. Therefore, I identified the opportunity of volunteering with IHF as something perfect for me.

What makes IHF unique?

Thibault: IHF is genuinely different from many organizations. It is entirely managed by volunteers who dedicate their all time for what seems to be a fair in their eyes. I would honestly say that working for IHF is a great opportunity for anyone who wants to know how practically works an NGO. I mean, in a couple of months, you are given much bigger responsibilities than in any big International Organization, I also really appreciate the fact that initiative is encouraged.

In your experience, what characteristics make a good international volunteer?

volunteers in Indonesia

Thibault: We have many volunteers who come to stay for short term in our centers. Some, stay a couple of weeks while travelling during a gap year, some take it as university internship etc... All volunteers have different expectations and backgrounds; this said, I would say that what makes a good international volunteer is the sense of responsibility. At the end of the day, what make a difference is involvement and passion for the assigned duties. A flexible mind and a thirst for discovery are also crucial.

What does the future hold for IHF?

Thibault: In the future, IHF hopes to evolved toward a more holistic approach to education, through transmitting not only academic knowledge but also life skills. I guess we are actually quite on the right track because, after having planned marketing and small enterprise classes for grown ups kids, we also set up health education workshops; and during December 2012, we will organize a vaccination campaign for all the children, thanks to our partnership with a local clinic.