A Different Kind of Beginning

Three years since my work with EWB began, one year since the start of my crazy Junior Fellowship journey, I’m on the brink of another beginning. That’s one of the beautiful things about EWB; to quote my wonderful friend Alex, we’re always beginning, again.

Through the jigs and the reels, I’m going to work for VOTO Mobile again this term. This time around, I’m working remotely from EWB’s National Office in Toronto. Why? Well, funnily enough, when we sat down to figure out how much I would “cost” for a work term in Toronto or Accra, Toronto came out slightly lower. Given the wonderful benefit of free accommodations (thank you EWB house), and significantly reduced travel/medical costs, along with a few personal considerations, working remotely just made more sense.

I’m going to be working in Operations as part of VOTO’s Partner Success Team doing project management and execution for many of their information collection/distribution campaigns. I’ll probably also wind up doing research and data analysis like I did last term. Excitingly, I’m going to get to work in French this term! VOTO reçoit plus en plus de projets Français, et comme il y a seulement une autre employée bilingue (en Français et Anglais – il y a plein de gens qui parlent diverses autres langues) sur mon équipe, la petite stagière Alycia va devoir prendre beaucoup de responsabilité avec ces projets. J’ai hâte d’avoir l’opportunité d’utiliser mon Français de jour en jour. Comme vous pouvez peut-être percevoir, ça fait longtemps depuis que je parle Français réguilièrement. Je retrouverai mon rythme bientot j’espère!!

Despite the fact that I haven’t even started yet, I’m already experiencing some really interesting emotions about working for VOTO remotely. I feel like it is going to be a daily effort to not fall into an impostor mentality. Who am I to work on campaigns in Ghana, Zimbabwe, or India? I’m not even there!! I’ll be working from a Western office, in a Western city, and living a Western life. It somehow feels hypocritical. I know that these feelings are misguided. No matter where I am, I will be living in a way that aligns with my morals. No matter where I am, I will be working on something I’m passionate about. And due to the tech-based nature of all my work, I will be equally as effective from Toronto as from Accra. However, there is still this niggling feeling of hypocrisy. I think this work term will be a really interesting exploration of how I can live genuinely, and recognise my absolute privilege from a Western context, where it is not thrown in my face the same way it was in Ghana, but instead it is intentionally brushed under the rug. How do I be a good ally and advocate from afar?

I hope to explore these emotions through my blog this term. It’s always an adventure to see when blogging inspiration will strike; I’ll try my best to keep you posted as interesting thoughts float through. For now, I’m sitting in Halifax airport, bound to Edmonton for EWB conference, and then back to Toronto to start work. I’m looking forward to this different beginning, and to all the growth it will hold.

 


Blog pivot!!! I even updated the tagline. So real. Talk soon, lovely people who actually read this 🙂

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