Our community is made up of many. In it we have our supporters, our staff, our local partners across the world, all those who step up to take action for people who have been forcibly displaced by conflict or disaster. Each member of our community comes from diverse backgrounds and lived experiences and yet, we’ve ended up here: connected through our belief that we’re all of equal worth and all deserving of a safe place to belong.
A pathway of passion
Sometimes these pathways overlap and members of this community move from being a valued Act for Peace supporter, to becoming a member of the team. Let us introduce you to Jess, who recently joined our fundraising team. As it turns out, Jess’ path to working with Act for Peace started a long time before writing her application.
“Growing up in a small coastal town, I developed a strong sense of community from a very young age. Then in 2017, I began working in an Adult English Migrant Program providing free childcare to migrants and refugees. When I started, I had little knowledge of what a refugee was, and the knowledge I did have was probably very biased. It took being exposed to stories and experiences so vastly different to my own, particularly that of refugees, to make a genuine and stirring impact.”
Beginning with the Ration Challenge
In 2019, Jess signed up for the Act for Peace Ration Challenge. Four years later, she’s been tasked with inspiring hundreds of school students across Australia to do the very same (learn more about the Ration Challenge schools program here).
“I first took the Ration Challenge in my mid-twenties. And, after doing it three times, I know first-hand just how transformative it can be in making a difference to the lives of those it helps – and young people themselves. I often think and wonder where I would be today if the Ration Challenge had existed when I was in school; how much sooner I would have been drawn to my personal and professional passions but also how much sooner I would have felt confident and comfortable to speak about current global issues and felt empowered to make a difference in the world.”
Last year, Jess also participated in our first-ever Trek for Refugees where she raised nearly $6,000 for people uprooted by conflict or disaster. Another experience she hopes will help her relate and connect with our Act for Peace fundraisers.
Behind the scenes
We asked Jess what it’s been like for her moving into her role behind the scenes of Act for Peace and continuing her journey from the inside.
“For me, it still feels very surreal that I am now working in a professional capacity for Act for Peace. It has been a long-held dream not only to work for a humanitarian agency but to be working for one whose visions and values so closely align with my own. It hasn’t yet sunk in and I don’t think it will for a long time.”
Considering all of our different journeys, it’s really quite remarkable that our paths so often cross over. No matter where you sit in the picture, like Jess, you’re an essential part of our work together.
For more information on taking the Ration Challenge, visit https://actforpeace.rationchallenge.org.au/ or if you are a teacher or student and would like to take part in the Schools Ration Challenge, visit https://schools.rationchallenge.org.au/
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