Natalie – Y Care International
Natalie, who works as a Civil Engineer, completed an ICS Team Leader placement with Y Care International in 2017. She led a team of 10 young people from UK and the local community at Lomé YMCA in Togo in 2017. The team worked to improve the economic opportunities for young people. Natalie, who fundraised £800 for Y Care International before going overseas, said:
“As Team Leader it was my role to make sure that the volunteers were happy, healthy and productive. I found it really fulfilling how my work helped volunteers overcome their challenges. I’ve never been as passionate or as fulfilled as I was when I was volunteering in Togo with Y Care International. My work had a direct impact on the volunteers, the project and the local community.”
Since returning from Togo, Natalie has helped organize an event in Birmingham for returned ICS volunteers. The event engages with volunteer alumni to share their achievements and show how they can be change-makers for global issues
In addition, Natalie promotes engineering and technology to young people. She breaks down the misconceptions about the construction industry and women in engineering to share opportunities in industry for young people of all backgrounds. She is also a corporate social responsibility representative for her company and inspires her colleagues to volunteer for initiatives that tackle local issues in East London.
Natalie has stayed involved with the YMCA as a member of the Y Care International Youth Engagement Panel where she is helping shape a future international youth volunteering programme.