Sarah Gauthier

2009 / Mozambique
International Microfinance and Microenterprise (IMM)

Sarah_GauthierWhat was your earliest volunteer experience?

While I was in high school, I was president of the Development and Peace student committee. We organized fundraising and awareness-raising activities to support various international charitable organizations.

Do you have any anecdotes or insights to share about the one month training program leading up to your Fellowship travels?

During the one month training program, we developed strong and real relationships between Fellows. These relationships allowed us to count on each other while we were abroad. It was important to me to be able to talk to other people who would understand my challenges, successes, reflections, and experiences, even if they were on the other side of the globe. sarah_gauthier_2

What did you do during your Fellowship?

I worked with the Arts and Crafts sector to support artisans to grow their businesses towards sustainability. This included supporting them with their product designs, promoting the importance of making savings, helping the union of artisans make microcredit loan applications, supporting the opening of a crafts store at the airport and representing the union at the 2010 Indaba Design Fair in South Africa.

Did you eat something that was new to you? What was it?

Xima: staple starch food made with corn. Not very tasty, but very filling.

Do you have any advice for future Fellows?

I encourage everyone to get involved in their host community every way that they can: volunteer at a community centre, participate in a sport, take dance lessons, start a movie club, etc… All these activities, along with your Fellowship work, help you understand the community that you are part of during your Fellowship and appreciate it more.

What are you doing now?

I now work at a community college where I am responsible for a bilingual training program geared towards immigrants, and in charge of grant writing. I am still looking for other opportunities where I will be able to join my passions of international development and adult learning.