LIFE is a two sided coin. You receive and you give. Since retiring from a career in management in the finance and insurance industry, the "receiving" side, I decided to get involved in the "giving" side of life and joined an Australian government agency called Australian Business Volunteers (ABV).
Over the past seven years, I have been fortunate enough to visit countries such as PNG, Solomon Islands (twice) and Indonesia (three times) undertaking volunteer assignments. It was during one of the Indonesian assignments that I had the opportunity to be introduced to a youth leadership program that was in its infancy and looking for people with leadership skills and experiences to become involved. The organization is known as GMB - Youth Leadership Program of Indonesia.
The objective of GMB is to identify, educate and develop leadership skills in the youth of Indonesia. I have been privileged to be invited back to Indonesia to participate in this YLP program, purely on a volunteer basis. The experience is truly uplifting, awe inspiring and rewarding for all concerned. The young leaders and the volunteers who work with them complete a two week "workshop" where there are both learning and practical sessions in which everyone participates. These young leaders also get the opportunity to travel to foreign counties, such as Australia and Japan, to gain exposure and experiences in other cultures, life styles, political and religious structures and beliefs through what is called the Homestay Program.
Being part of the volunteering in both Indonesia and back home in Australia through the Homestay Program has been a fulfilling experience for me and my wider family. We have had the opportunity to learn about, understand and to respect the values, beliefs and aspirations of these young people whose lives are charged forever as a result of the total experience.
Australian Volunteer of GMB