International volunteering for 18-25 year olds

Paxti's fundraising

I had to reach my fundraising target in two and a half months, but with extra effort I could have done it in just a few weeks.

With quick management and simple events you can hit that target in no time! I started off with organizing two special dinners in my family restaurant where I work. My mum owns the business so she let me go ahead, however if you work in a bar/restaurant just ask! You could throw a special themed dinner based on the country you’re placed in. You can both raise money, and bring some of their culture to the UK. We had a Kenyan night, cooking dishes ranging from the common Ugali dough to Nyama Choma, Kuku Paka and Kachumbari.

I also shaved my head, both to prove that I didn’t always need to play with my fringe and to give my friends the satisfaction to shave it off for me. The top tip is to make it a competition - tell all your friends the highest donation gets to shave it. I sat for 2 hours while 6 friends took turns with both scissors and clippers, managed to raise a quarter of my fundraising target and also had a laugh, so go ahead! Lads, hair grows back!

The last thing I did was busking, setting up camp in a shelter by our town’s cascade overlooking the sea, truly a beautiful site. It was a cloudy day but me and my good pal went down there with his guitar and my djembe and cajon and jammed for a couple hours, earning some extra donations but the extreme feeling I had while doing it was what felt fulfilling. For any person that walked by and simply looked and smiled I was happy. They didn’t all donate but they saw the poster and flyers and that is what is important.

I’m think of myself as an average guy without a lot of fundraising connections, and I managed to hit the target with the help and encouragement of everyone around me.

Three top tips

  • Expose - tell friends on facebook and twitter, tell family about your placement, tell colleagues and where you work about it, make it official!
  • Express - tell people what you’re doing, get involved in the events and take part to show you’re doing your bit. Tell them about VSO and ICS, tell them of the current situations, the help being given and lead up to.
  • Encourage - not just yourself, but those around you! A better atmosphere is a better result, tell them about their chances and how the donations are helping!

But overall it’s all up to you, and you can all do it with a few events and a few facebook messages! Use every tool you have to your advantage, you can all get there!