Bibian Baralemwa – Volunteering With The Cherie Blair Foundation
Editor’s Note: On all dive certifications, we try to edit the writing as little as possible to preserve authenticity, personality, and writing style. We typically fix spelling errors, but minimally modify grammar and sentence structure (just enough to ensure readability).
1. When and Why Did You Decide to Pursue This Dive At This Level? What was your inspiration and motivation?
As a child, I joined the girl guide association where volunteering was a main part of the organization. I began with little things like helping with household chores even when I was off for the day.
Later in life, I asked to volunteer as a typist for a nearby secondary school with the aim to practice and increase my typing speed and to gain experience working in an office setting. It was the first time I worked in an office and that made me feel quite useful and capable.
After university, I volunteered with various organizations with the hope that I would be hired. Although I wasn’t hired in the places I volunteered, I surely gained experience and confidence in working in the corporate field.
When I eventually got formal employment, I still offered to volunteer with the different departments with the aim of sharing my acquired expertise while learning new skills.
In 2018 I applied to volunteer with The Cherie Blair Foundation for women, and I was happy to be taken in as a mentor for women entrepreneurs. I volunteered at least 5 hours a month for two years, the 2018 – 2019 cohort and the 2019 – 2020 cohort. It was one of the very best experiences of my life. It was very inspiring and greatly motivating to realize that volunteering to share my skill and expertise helped impact other women’s lives, to make them more knowledgeable, confident, and productive.
I also enjoyed the opportunity to learn from the different experiences of the women I mentored and from those in the program. Sharing is a great fulfillment. I think that the world has many talented and skilled people and if we all volunteered to share even just a bit of our knowledge and skills, our world would be a much better place. I hope that by sharing my experience here, many more people will be encouraged and motivated to give some of their time to volunteering. It is therapy, it is empowering, and it is positively impacting.
2. How Long Did It Take For You To Accomplish This Dive At This Level From The Day You Decided To Pursue It, And Why Did It Take That Long?
My most recent volunteering job lasted for 2 years. The job was renewed after a year with a new mentee each year. Each year required a minimum of 2 hours of volunteering per month of volunteering through my mentee and I exceeded the time to 4 hours a month for us to be able to meet our set objectives.
3. What Was The Hardest Part About Achieving This Particular Dive Level?
Break Diving pursues excellence and sometimes it isn’t easy to achieve that standard. I have had to do this a few times before getting approved. A process I greatly admire and respect.
4. What Was The Easiest Part About Achieving This Particular Dive Level?
This opportunity surfaced at a time when I wasn’t very busy which made it easier for me to concentrate on it. Also, the guidance and support I received from the Break Diving staff team were very helpful. They were particularly helpful in helping me understand the requirements and to tailor my volunteering experience into perspective.
5. What Is Your Advice For Someone Who Is Pursuing This Dive And Level?
These are very important in helping us value our input, especially when the desired results turn out better than we expected. Oftentimes when we volunteer, we do not count or value the amount of time, money, and effort without realizing and consequently fail to value our contribution. But it’s also possible to overestimate our input. The best way to keep track is to note down and measure our input against set objectives and desired results.
6. What Are Some Of The Best Resources You Recommend to Those Pursuing This Dive At This Level, And Why Do You Recommend Them? Please Include Relevant Weblinks, If Applicable.
Resource 1: Future Learn - “Future Learn” is an excellent site for quick and refresher learning.
Resource 2: Allison - “Allison” has a range of courses with step by step guides.
Resource 3: Management help - “Management help” is an excellent site with a wealth of resources for leadership, management, and administration.
7. Tell Us A Story Of One Of Your Adventures While Pursuing This Dive (At This Level).
The organization I worked for had run out of funds and had laid off staff. I was an externally resourced person which meant there wasn’t going to be work for me to do. I was used to keeping busy.
As I searched the web for jobs I came across the Cherie Blair advert for mentors. When I first saw the advert for mentors I wasn’t sure I met their criterion. I wished I could be part of the mentoring team, but shelved the idea.
A few days later I re-read the advert and thought I could do it! I scrolled to search the pay but there was none. I was a bit disappointed! It was a 100% volunteer job! I finally decided I would apply and make use of my time to help someone else rather than be bored waiting for a paid job.
I dared to dive into the unknown waters like a Break Diver and I am glad I did. Volunteering with the Cherie Blair Foundation has been one of the most pleasant experiences in my life. With this volunteering opportunity came great fulfillment. I realized that there was a give and take in volunteering and sometimes the take was much more than what I gave.
I got to meet very resourceful people, made new friends, learned new things, and really boosted my confidence. It was easier volunteering within the Africa region as I had had experience working in different countries and cultures.
8. What Evidence Did You Submit to Prove You Met the Requirements for This Dive and Level?
9. Will You Be Pursuing The Next Level For This Dive? If Yes, Why? If Not, Why Not?
I hope you join Break Diving and to check on my progress and cheer me on my journey.
10. What is the Break Diver's Creed?
And having made this post, and provided adequate evidence to the dive committee, Bibian Baralemwa is now hereby certified by Break Diving, Inc. as: Good Samaritan - Volunteer - Level 1. Congratulations ! Thank you for being an inspiration to others!
Certificate number: 62
The author above wrote this WYSEguidance post as one of the certification requirements to become certified by Break Diving, Inc. for a dive completed. Would you also like to find greater success, happiness, and friendship, and make genuine supportive connections with others around the world pursuing your same dreams? Come join us at Break Diving and soon your story will be the next one you read about on this site!Read More Stories on the WYSEguidance Homepage