Mariel is a TakingITGlobal volunteer whose passion and enthusiasm are truly contagious! She was a volunteer Community Animator for TIG's Youth Media Exchange platform (www.ymex.org) and is now involved with our Spanish team! Get to know Mariel here
1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Mariel, I am 19 years old and I live in Mexico City. I am currently studying philosophy in university. Aside from philosophy, I am interested in cultural and social studies, digital media, gymnastics, dance and activism.
2. How did you become an on-line volunteer?
My path to on-line volunteering began in 2004, when I was 14, and got to attend a conference at the Mexican offices of the UN where I learned more about the organization's work. The conference had caught my attention, so I joined UNICEF's online community, Voices of Youth, and started meeting people from different cultures and learning more about global issues. I immediately developed an interest in digital media and global issues, and started jumping from community to community until, in late 2006, I helped plan an event in Second Life to raise awareness on UNICEF's work. That's how it all began for me.
3. What kind of tasks do you normally perform?
I have done event-planning in virtual worlds, helped moderate discussions in discussion boards, done media-making activities to raise awareness on global issues, spoken in conferences about the use of digital media & youth, I have translated, worked on e-community building and website administration. All of them, media creation and community building in particular, have been very fulfilling!
4. What are your overall thoughts on the experience?
I think that I have been very lucky in my experiences because, despite of an initial two years of trawling the web in search for opportunities and figuring out my place in the web, I was able to find many outstanding groups and organizations that are genuinely working to make things better for people. The experience has inspired me enough to make me want to devote at least a part of my career to social issues. I think this field leaves a lot of room for personal development, though of course the challenge remains finding a way to reconcile my activism with my studies and my other interests.
5. Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?
I think that online activism has made it much easier for many people to volunteer. Most of the time, big amounts of resources are not needed, and I am sure that there is a lot of online work to do in every single cause that may be supported by any individual - so I recommend it as a practice to virtually any person who has an Internet connection!
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I grew up with a book in my hand and a suitcase in the other. Traveling is what activated my thirst for knowledge and my curiosity. I am interested in anything that has to do with: active citizenship, ethical banks, time banks, ethical tourism, environmental justice, citizen journalism, creative problem solving, documentaries, ethical living, fair trade, good governance, international development, peak oil and veganism… To name only a few!
María Fernanda Mandujano
| Oct 1st, 2009
Yes. I remember you from VOY. I am an online volunteer in part because of that community.
Chiara Mike Ssegawa
| Oct 19th, 2009
At your age, I can see the sky is not the limit. Keep the good work, Chiara.
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