After weeks of waiting and anticipation, we’re about ready for departure to Colombia. Five days left of preparations and off we go!
Let us introduce ourselves;
Christina is a teacher by education, but has been working with the Oslo Red Cross for the last two years. This is also where she previously volunteered, working at a resource center for youth in Oslo, where she's been involved in different activities for youth, such as Street Mediation and homework help.
Fredrik was born in Germany, but moved to Norway at a young age and spent his childhood growing up in Moss. He is a child and youth care worker, and studied European studies at the University of Oslo. Fredrik is passionate about travelling. He has travelled to South America on three different occasions, but has not had the chance to visit Colombia. Football is also something that Fredrik is passionate about, especially Chelsea FC! Fredrik has been a prt of the Red Cross/Red Crescent movement for the last year, where he volunteered with the International Humanitarian Law group in Oslo.
So, as you probably already know, we will be working as youth delegates for the Norwegian Red Cross in Colombia for the next nine months. Here, we will work alongside volunteers from the youth section in the district of Norte Santander. The youth delegate exchange program (YDEP) has as a goal to “strengthen the youth structure and capacity within the Red Cross/Red Crescent movement in responding to humanitarian needs, by developing young leaders who take responsibility and create positive change in their lives and communities.” As we are still in Norway, exactly how we will be working towards this goal is still not completely clear, but we will be sure to keep you updated here on our blog!
Preparations are now coming to an end. It has been an intense couple of weeks since we first started our contracts. Week one was spent at Fredskorpset’s yearly camp, where we met other young people from all over the world about to go on different missions abroad, from a range of different organizations. Fredskorpset (FK) is a sponsor to many different types of exchanges, including the YDEP, and their camp was a great arena for making acquaintances across professional fields and country borders.
In addition to a week at FK-camp, we have refreshed our first-aid skills, practiced our fire safety skills and had workshops on everything from planning activities to presentations. A lot (!) of information, abbreviations, guidelines and routines are roaming around in our minds, waiting to be applied as we start our work in Colombia.
This final week before departure we will spend with the other delegates (going to Lesotho, Nepal and Cundinamarca, Colombia) at Eidene Red Cross center in Tjøme. More workshops await, so that we arrive our destination with all the tools we need for working to strengthen youth structures in our district.
Saturday is our departure day. From now until then will be filled with a wide specter of emotions; Joy, nervousness, exhilaration, sadness, anxiousness and everything in between. But most of all we are excited for this great adventure we’re about to embark on!
Wish us good luck, buena suerte, bon chance and lykke til! We’ll keep you posted!
- Fredrik & Christina