Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Volunteering Abroad with Raleigh Internation. How to apply? What happens? And what is next?

So I've been meaning to write a blog post on what is happening, volunteering, is it for me? Is it for you? What happens when considering, joining, accepting and beyond? And any other details.                                                                                                                 So to returning visitors, thank you for following my blog, I probably follow yours also, if not do drop a comment with your link, I love to be involved with friends blogs & bloggers alike.                                                                                                                              To new visitors my name is Jennifer Ramirez. I have ran this blog for I believe 10 years+, and use it as a means to share art, events, jobs I attend, thoughts and even helpful (I hope) posts.
So in this post, I will be discussing my current journey to volunteering abroad with 

How I applied: 

Since leaving university, I have been dealt with the card of wanderlust.
Whilst everyone went ahead to fight and apply for the same jobs, I relaxed and enjoyed my freedom whilst also looking for a day to day job. I cannot remember the first day I considered this, but I was looking into teaching English in Italy, France, teaching anywhere away from London. Then the interest turned towards working during American Camps for kids, whilst I was doing research I came across many activites, events & projects abroad available for young adults.
EVENTUALLY I came across ICS: http://www.volunteerics.org/
I emailed them back and forth with queries, delaying my application due to work, and money and worries and nerves. I was completely on their radar but could not take the plunge.
I went to a travel show at Kensington Olympia, and I ran into ICS face to face. 
I think this was the thing that pushed me.
I met the coordinators, I met returned volunteers. I asked all the questions I had to, and I got home, after a week or 2. I made the call. Took the plunge and put myself forward for assessment.
The charity I chose, of amongst approx 14 charities, volunteers can research and choose from, I chose Raleigh International. https://raleighinternational.org/

What happened during assessment:
Since accepting, ICS put me in contact with Raleigh and I had to choose from 3 options of assessment days.
My assessment day was I believe 21 June. (Day of Brexit sadly). It ran from 9am - 4pm.
During the day I met hopeful volunteers, Raleigh Team members which held activites, gave us informative talks, allowed us to ask questions, photocopied our documents and had a laugh.
We were informed on what happens whilst on placement, the activities, our duties, what would be expected of us, the lifestyle whilst in Nicaragua, everything.
They assessed us with the words that we say, and due to phone issues I had not heard from them for 2 weeks.  At this point, I thought I was going to be rejected, turns out they had been trying to contact me and they gave me assessment day feedback and told me the good news.

What has happened since I accepted?
The emails started flying in. Welcome emails, congratulations email.
Start to think about how you are going to fundraise emails. 
Start considering vaccinations emails.
When to fill in & return documents emails. 
What training event I could attend email. And so I chose 27th - 30th July for training.
And up until then, I hadn't started fundraising or my vaccinations, but did begin with the documents etc.

What happened at Training?
Training was so much fun, it had been a long time since I felt a similar feeling.
At first completely scary, nerve wracking. Having to meet new people in a forced environment is always SO weird, but after the first half hour I was alright!
There were tents set up, A few individual tents, A few 2 ppl tents, And a few 6 ppl tents.
My first task was to find a free tent. I buddied up with Caroline from Scotland and it was almost too easy. Next was a welcome talk, to be put into our Project groups.
Mine being WASH Project travelling to Nicaragua.
The next 2 days I spent it with this group and I got to know a few people and it was great.
Highlight: The campfire on night 2.
Toasting marshmallows, singing, and laughing so hard.
Nothing like it. I also laughed endlessly talking about reality TV. Fave
Below are images stolen from Nat, campfire images. Night and before it went completely pitch black.

Whats next?
Let me see....the date I am writing this post is 14/08/2016.
I have just sent an email update to the team leaders with what I have done and been up to.
I have yet to have x2 rabies injections, I have to pick up my malaria tablets, I have to complete my fundraising amount of £800.
To support: http://www.justgiving.com/owner-email/pleasesponsor/Jennifer-Ramirez

I have still to receive flight information. AND finally I need to begin preparing/shopping for my kit.
Nearly every day I think about what I am going to embark on, I get nervous, I get excited, I think 3 months away is NOTHING compared to my lifetime. Then I think so much can happen in 3 months will I miss out on anything? Will things change at home? Can I handle 3 months.
Honestly I do not know, it is almost the unknown. Until I am there I will have to face myself and my development as a person, my strength, whilst also supporting a fellow host family and community in Nicaragua.

Departure date: 16th September until 8th December.
To donate and support please do: http://www.justgiving.com/owner-email/pleasesponsor/Jennifer-Ramirez

POST NOTE: Raleigh also mentioned Voluntourism as an issue raised with GAP YEAR STUDENTS running abroad to assist and have a holiday and create projects that are not sustainable.
Raleigh have mentioned this head on, and have highlighted how they are not this.
Raleigh only support communities that request help, so to not go to locations for uneeded, unwanted attention. We will be having placement in Nicaragua, and supporting by teaching, assisting, supporting as opposed to building, giving and fixing.
Raleigh believe in sustainable development, instead of building a huge tap and leaving, unsure on its effect and support to the community, we teach the community how to build, how to use, and how to maintain in order for the community to sustain itself for now and future years.
I truly believe I could not have chosen a more supportive, safe, charity to join.

Raleigh x Dutty Love Carnival FUNRAISER - 05/08/2016

Read further at the end of this post. As a fundraiser you can support us also, with a donation.

On the 05/08/2016 Thanks to Dutty Love Carnival for having me again.
At the Bussey Building Peckham, we held another facepainting night.
THIS time was for fundraising.
We raised £57.61
That's a record night.

£1, £5, £10. We are hugely grateful.
Thank you 

Monday, 25 July 2016

So I have been super quiet,
Big news. I have applied and been accepted to attend a 10 week placement in Nicaragua, to help and support the community in their needs with Raleigh International.
I also for the first time ever need to fundraise. In this case up to £800.


If you are reading and can support me in any way I will be forever grateful. £1, £5, £0.50 i don;t care.

I will be updating asap.  https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jennifer-Ramirez

or click the Sponsor me button below:
                              JustGiving - Sponsor me now!


Monday, 6 June 2016

Mula Clothing 3rd Year Anniversary! 

4th June 2016 What a day...

When I got the message that my partner in crime photographer Ryan Prince was covering the 3rd Year Anniversary for Mula Cake Clothing and I was invited as a blogger, I knew exactly what time it was.

3 Years since Mula Cake Clothing began, they celebrated with the community the 3rd year anniversary with a family fun day (and night) in the heart of South Norwood Recreational Park.

Unsure of what to expect I was prepared!! Kitted with my jumpers and jacket (the usual, unknowing of course the weather was planning do a U turn). Had my comfy shoes, £20 in my purse (which was more than enough) and a notebook should I need it.

We was blessed with a hot, not a drop of rain Family fun day.....
And family fun it was.

With a variety of bouncy castles to keep the kids super busy, a rodeo which I was SO tempted to join, and so much more in this blog post I will be highlighting a few of my wonderful experiences on the day.

Kids Activities 
As much as a 23 year old young lady like myself likes to act adult, I could not help myself. With face painting available, sweets galore, the bouncy castles, my inner child was having a sweet day. No pun intended.
ARTISTIC STROKES - Muna Hashim face painting
The food
It's not an event until there's a cloud of smoke followed by smell, followed by massive queues. Mission accomplished.
I was blessed with some tasty Jerk chicken, even managed to take some home. Winning!!!

The Refreshments
Now I have never had a shaved ice snow cone.  Serious.
It wasn't until I was faced with SNOW BALLZ.
He suggested I have the ocean breeze and he had my heart. A nice welcome, a laugh and a flavourful ice cone. What a brilliant friendly stall.  
By the second half of the day, when I needed further refreshing *ahem* I went on a hunt.
And found myself a fruit juice stall. FRESH BOOST
He offered me Orange, Carrot, Apple, Beetroot & Ginger all for £3.30.
Now I will not lie, it wasn't the nicest drink in the world, but I felt so healthy with my fresh bright juice. Made the experience so much more au natural.

Love a good juice...

Next we have: The Mula cake
Here we get to the Mula Cake Clothing side of things.
It's all in the name. Cake!!
And it did not disappoint.
With a cake baking competition where the public can taste and vote. How can we go wrong!!
The cakes were seriously nice, and all under one tent, never had so much cake in my life.
If this is what it's like this year, count me in for the next....
In case you are wondering it was a tie, both 2BADDA & NUTTIN BUT DELICIOUS came on top. Cakelicious
Pictures below of the winners, and the cakes displayed in the competition.
WARNING: You will get cravings

And finally: The Mula Cake Clothing
We have but of course the main event, the reason we all came together.
3 years of Mula Cake Clothing, below we have the clothes and bits of the fashion show, which was so much fun by the way.
Photographers & Videographers at hand, the crowd surrounding the red carpet, music pumping. We had a fun fast paced fashion show.
Even though I was hoping for a freeby t-shirt (joke), Mula Cake Clothing is now definitely on my radar. Catch me wearing it very soon.
Enjoy the pics below.

Thank you to Mula Cake Clothing team for having us, to cover a small part of the event. We would love to be around for the next one, bigger and better. X

All images by Ryan Prince: www.flickr.com/photos/ryan_prince/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ryanprince_art/

For further on myself, Jennifer Ramirez - Events Artist/Blogger
Website: http://jennyram0692.wix.com/jxnartista 
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jxn.artista/

Monday, 9 May 2016

Such fun. Such vibrancy.
Hired for the day to face paint the children of Bermuda in Lockside Lounge, Camden.
Here are a few photographs.

All images by Ryan Prince: www.flickr.com/photos/ryan_prince/

Monday, 25 April 2016



Latest gig, Another success.
For this one I stood for the event, what a bad decision. I had 2 days worth of back ache! Never again!!

Besides that the gig was amazing, everyone was so kind, so friendly! If you are ever in Peckham on a Friday night, find the Bussey Building,
A few photographs have been attached, If you want more visit my site


To see their next event keep eyes peeled