For Volunteers’ Week 2020, here is our volunteer Blu on their experience at GI
I have been volunteering for Gendered Intelligence for a year now, having been a young person under their wing for 4 years beforehand. I don’t think I’m alone in saying that GI have been a family for me since the beginning.
Before finding GI, I don’t think I understood truly what it meant to feel empowered. A few years into being a young person with GI, I concluded that the only reason why they had so much belief in me was because it was their job. I can now safely say that this isn’t the case. As a volunteer I am still caught off guard by the time and care that is given to my thoughts (and random ideas that I come up with at 2am). In a world that ignores and suppresses voices on an individual and systemic basis, feeling heard takes a lot of getting used to, but it has given me the courage to keep coming up with those 2am ideas and some of them haven’t been all that bad.
In a world that ignores and suppresses voices on an individual and systemic basis, feeling heard takes a lot of getting used to
I think something else about volunteering for GI that has really helped me is it’s the first space in which I rarely apologise for things that I don’t need to apologise for. When working in an environment where we try to adopt a transformative approach to mistakes, it’s hard to entertain unnecessary guilt. This, teamed with never ending cart- loads of affirmation, empowerment, and celebration, has really helped me to know my worth and stand my ground. I feel more human than anywhere else when I’m surrounded by people who I can trust to challenge me and who I feel comfortable challenging.
For me GI feels a bit like that thing where everyone stands in a circle and leans back on each other…
I guess the word is “community”.
That’s all I really have for now, but I hope it sheds some light into how it feels to be a volunteer at GI.