Sharmi, Community Catalyst of GV Bangladesh, shares with us her fresh eye report!
My global feedbacks
New job! Well, I think everyone who has read the job description knows that it is not just another 9 AM-5PM job. It is a platform for growth, personal and professional development and testing and exploring someone’s own abilities.
I have never seen it as a job, I see it as an experience, an adventure. I dared myself to live in a village far away from my own city, my home, my family; live a community life with co-workers who were unfamiliar to me, with the youths just with the intention to grow. I knew it would require volunteerism, flexibility.
It is true that I was sure about myself of getting along well with people from multicultural backgrounds but not sure about the people, the team, the community. To be honest, there were so many not so positive assumptions in my head like I may start to feel alone, isolated, fear of getting misunderstood because of cultural differences in norms and other things, missing the people closer to me, not feeling secure enough in the rural community, or I may not communicate what I want to communicate and so on. Now I laugh at myself for this. The team is no less adaptable and understanding than me. I am thankful how the team is always patient with me, always there for me to help me to get through anything unknown to me. I am exploring so many things that I can not even explain.
The community our team is surrounded by is so welcoming, helpful and accepting. I learnt that it is necessary to go out of someone’s comfort zone, if they really want to grow and test their own ability.
After spending a little less than 1 month in Green Village Bangladesh and learning continuously about my role as a Community Catalyst I know that my mission is to support the Youth to their integration in the professional world as much as I can by developing their soft skills like leadership, autonomy, teamwork, time management, professional behavior, organization, planning, adaptability, resiliency and so on. On the other hand, hard skills like digital literacy and English language.
Working on Youth's skills I think is easier than dealing with their emotions as a Community Catalyst. It is just because I am there for them mostly in their informal time and I stay close to them. Sometimes some youths are over-caring for me and sometimes some youths behave too informally with me (I understand it is just because they think I am someone who is closer to them like a relative, but they are learning to see me as a coach, afterall they are our very first batch and I am also new and still exploring . I am trying my best to maintain my catalyst posture. We all are adapting.
I get confused when they behave childish or not showing the expected behaviour. Am I handling it accurately or not? Sometimes, I ask for advice from my team. Sometimes It is hard to balance empathy and Indifference (I am not sure about this word), like my empathetic human mind is telling- help the youth but the catalyst posture is telling- Let her to solve the problem on her own, she is able!
The Welcome Weeks
I think if someone gets supportive co-workers then the work becomes easier. In my case that's the answer. Because I had no experience of working with people from different countries, almost everyday I met a new Catalyst through google meet and they were considerate enough to give advice and share their experiences. It helped me to grow my confidence. I had some troubles with understanding the french accent but it was taken care of by our GV Bangladesh Leader Mylène Wang.
Most of the time there was a flow of information and I started to get overwhelmed and to doubt my ability to do that particular thing. But I am persisting and getting through it all with the help of my teammates.
I understand my joining of GV Bangladesh is somewhat different because after some days of my joining, our team first welcomed our first batch of youth and I think I am actually learning by doing.
I don't consider myself experienced enough to tell what is to improve actually, without knowing the exact scenario behind what is visible.
In the Green Village
The food without meat and fish, living a community life, conscious and purposeful consumption of organic and plastic products, minimum waste and the whole idea of Green Village is surprising. I have never imagined this kind of working environment existed. It is a purposeful lifestyle towards sustainability. I want this project to grow and make the expected change. Weekly planning is another thing I appreciate, it leads to being organized.
I hope after one year I become the person I want to be- full of resilience, hopeful with myself and everything that I will experience in the future.
I would like to thank my teammates Mylène, Jérémy, Shams, and Raisa. I couldn’t have any other better team than this in Green Village Bangladesh. And I also appreciate the consideration and helpfulness of other catalysts who I am connected to on whatsapp and email. Now everything is getting clearer and better day by day.
More or less 20 days after my joining, I got the chance to go through inception training and it was inspiring and a reminder why we are here.