This blog post was published under the 2015 to 2024 Conservative government

Tania Tuzizila

ICS volunteer

Guest blogger for FCDO Editorial

Part of FCDO Outreach

5th January 2017 London, UK

Tania’s volunteering story: I thought I’d never be able to do this

ICS volunteer Dan Tania Tuzizila in the Co-operative warehouse. Banteay Char, near Battambang, Cambodia.

22 year old Tania Tuzizila was the 20,000th ICS volunteer to go overseas. Here she talks about her experiences helping on women’s health and human rights in Cambodia.

I always wanted to get into charity work, and when I saw the opportunity to do ICS I made sure I went for it. It appealed to me because so many young people were involved. It felt like I’d be comfortable doing it.

Before I came to Cambodia I was really excited and a little bit nervous. But mainly excited! It’s the first time I’ve been away from home this long. When I got on the plane, I thought ‘no, this isn’t real’ and then I was like ‘Oh my God this is it! We are going!’

As a group we are out here to work on a livelihoods project but now we’ve added some other things in too – working with human rights and women’s health. We are also doing some teaching. I wasn’t really sure what livelihoods meant to be honest! Now I’m here, I have an idea of what it’s about: helping people develop work and life skills.

We’re working in agriculture because it’s the most common thing here. We’re talking to farmers about how to grow their crops and then sell them, getting a good price. A lot of people here lack the knowledge that they could do better. I want these farmers to have a better understanding of their farming. For example, they don’t know they can make their own fertilizer so they go and buy it! So we went to a local school and did a little demonstration, planting seeds and using cow dung on the soil – and they sprouted in two days. We showed the children because once they get involved they can go home and tell their parents about the project. We also noticed that the library in the local school was very dull, kind of like a meeting room. We wanted it to be more comfortable for the children so it would make them excited to read. So we put flooring down and got some new books and maps in. We painted elephants and trees on the walls and all the children used their hands to make the ‘leaves’ and branches.

That was my favourite moment because everyone played a part and if we come back in a few years’ time it will still be there. It’s really helpful having our Cambodia counterparts here. They don’t just translate, they help us act properly too. We’ve learnt a lot from them and they are all really nice. They are really lovely people.

I never thought I’d be doing this. I never thought I’d see myself squatting to go to the toilet in the middle of nowhere or cycling miles to see something. I never thought I’d be eating in a place where there are chickens and ducks running around me or I’d be climbing to pick mangoes and papayas off trees!

My friends didn’t believe that I’d actually do this. Now I’m out here they are all asking me how I’m getting on through WhatsApp or Snapchat, and asking how they can get involved. So I feel like this has been a good experience so far.

2 comments on “Tania’s volunteering story: I thought I’d never be able to do this

  1. Great story Tania! I am also heading there with ICS in a month’s time, and I am not sure I have actually processed it all yet, but I am beyond excited.

    Let me know if you would like to get in touch if you have any advice or recommendation to make, I sure am looking forward to hearing it =)

Comments are closed.