My name is Darcy Weaver, and I serve as the Associate Director of AMAZE International at Advocates for Youth. At AMAZE, we create short, medically-accurate, age-appropriate animated videos on sexual and reproductive health for young people worldwide. I work with global partners, including NGOs and UN bodies, to adapt and dub these videos for use in various educational settings, both formal and informal. To date, our free videos have reached 80 million viewers worldwide.
In January 2020, I joined Paper Airplanes as a volunteer. The decision to become part of this incredible organization was motivated by my passion for supporting people affected by conflict and in supporting young professionals in honing their English language skills and preparing them for their next academic or career endeavours. I have had the privilege of teaching conversational groups for nine semesters, and each experience has been uniquely rewarding.
We have periodically faced Internet connectivity issues that have occasionally posed a challenge during conversations, but it hasn't been a significant hindrance.
What has truly captivated me throughout my volunteer time with Paper Airplanes is the opportunity to connect with exceptional individuals from diverse cultures and backgrounds. Engaging with students from various countries has allowed me to exchange insights about cultural practices and ideas, fostering a global community of learning and understanding.
There are several cases and stories that I carry with me, serving as reminders of the impact we can make through our collective efforts. I feel immense pride whenever a student expresses increased confidence in speaking English within a group setting or reaches out to share their success in securing a job or academic opportunity as a direct result of their engagement with Paper Airplanes. Witnessing their growth and knowing I played a small part in their journey is truly rewarding.
One of the aspects I appreciate most about volunteering with Paper Airplanes is its flexibility, allowing me to balance my commitments with work. The organization provides comprehensive materials that facilitate preparation and follow-up, streamlining the process and making it seamless for volunteers like myself.
"Paper Airplanes, an organization that holds a special place in my heart"
As I reflect upon my journey with Paper Airplanes, I am grateful for the incredible people I have met along the way. Their dedication, resilience, and eagerness to learn have inspired me immensely. Knowing that I am making a positive impact on their lives and witnessing their growth has been a constant source of motivation, encouraging me to remain involved with the organization.
To all my students, I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude for your unwavering commitment and hard work. It has been an absolute pleasure working with each and every one of you. Your dedication to learning and resilience in the face of challenges inspires me continuously.
For those considering volunteering with Paper Airplanes, I wholeheartedly encourage you to seize this incredible opportunity. The organization offers a unique opportunity to make a meaningful impact in the lives of aspiring young professionals from diverse backgrounds. You will be able to learn, grow, and contribute to a global community of learners. The experiences gained, and the connections forged will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on both you and the students you engage with.