George Elias

George Elias

India 2014

What made you go on Raleigh ICS?

Prior to going on ICS with Raleigh, I was working with several socio-economically disadvantaged communities in New Delhi. When I heard about ICS through a friend, I thought it was a brilliant opportunity for me to work with international volunteers to gain first-hand experience in grass root level development work. I also really wanted to improve my communication skills and at the same time to gain social and interpersonal skills.

What are your best memories of ICS?

As part of my ICS journey, I was placed in a village in Tamil Nadu with a group of 13 volunteers. Mangamvayal is a village of 21 households, and we worked on a WASH project. That was my first time working with a team of international volunteers. That actually changed my life and perspectives. What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it. The best thing about ICS experience has definitely meeting new people, seeing new places and bringing together people from all over the world. I have made long lasting friendships, learnt new skills and done things I thought were out of my reach before Raleigh ICS.

Three months after the project some of us returned to the village. The villagers were amazed by seeing us again. What the villagers lack in their wealth they make up in their smiles. From the twinkle in a child’s eye, to the toothy grin of elderly villagers, every face we looked at was welcoming and friendly. We have also found that the villagers were still using the toilets that we have built.

What you have done since your time with Raleigh?

Now I am a dedicated and energetic social worker and a creative and innovative professional with experience in programme, project and change management. I am committed to deliver exceptional service standards whilst ensuring the on-time and in-budget achievement of organisational objectives. I also have got the ability to effectively coordinate multidisciplinary and multinational teams; working with children, families and communities to promote empowerment and assist in building healthy, sustainable and positive development and change. It’s all because of ICS and Raleigh. I really like what I do. Doing what you like is freedom and liking what you do is happiness. So I would like to continue what I do now for the future.

What impact do you think your time with Raleigh had on your life both personally and professionally?

It has in many ways been the time of my life. I am proud to say that big or small, we have made an impact. Since ICS, I have got a job in Raleigh India as Field Support Coordinator (FSC). Raleigh India ICS helped me to meet all my expectations such as improvement in communication, social and interpersonal skills and gained first-hand experience in grass root level development work. After ICS, I have learned so much about International Development, Youth Development, WASH and Community Resilience. Now I help and support Raleigh India ICS teams to deliver ICS programmes.

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