By Isabelle Kraus
VE Volunteer from Colorado, USA
Before I started seriously planning where I wanted to go and what I was going to do as a volunteer in Central or South America after graduating from college, I knew I had to find financial help first. As a college graduate, I would not have nearly enough money saved to cover the cost of such an endeavor. By searching “volunteer grants” online, I found Omprakash.org. Not only does Omprakash offer volunteer grants, it also provides a long list of grass roots nonprofits with no program fees– score!
Through Omprakash I discovered VE Global, which does not charge volunteers to participate and is another gem in the world of volunteerism. Long story short (and a lot of essay writing later), I was accepted into VE Global and as an Omprakash grant recipient. The grant goes to cover my living expenses, so I can focus on my volunteer commitment. Today, I am over halfway through my six-month contract with VE Global and am so distraught by this reality that I have recently decided to extend my stay.
Why? Because the life of VE Global volunteer is an experience I had only ever heard or read about others undertaking and could only dream about acquiring myself. I am gaining so much, and so rapidly; and most importantly, I sincerely believe I am actually making a difference. I am not the only one gaining from my volunteer work. I believe I am making a positive impact in the lives of the girls at the hogar who I spend so much time with, and they are the main reason I want to stay here longer. I do not want to say goodbye to them, yet. I want to spend more time with them and to continue to be a part of their lives. I want their trust in me to keep amplifying, and I want to continue providing them with the love, affection, and positive reinforcement they deserve. Thank you, Omprakash, for the generous grant I received, I would not have been able to finance this journey without it.