This is... Pauline Owelle - started as a student volunteer and is now working at UNICEF Netherlands
UNICEF volunteer since 2015
What does a student volunteer do? Student teams organise actions to raise money for UNICEF projects. You are part of an enthusiastic group of fellow students, often with an international background.
Pauline: “Did you know that eighteen cities have a UNICEF student volunteer team? So in Breda as well, my hometown. I came across that team when I was a first-year student looking for volunteer work. It turned out to be a perfect match! After an introductory meeting, I could start organising the first UNICEF On Ice in Breda - now an annual event."
"As a student team, you promote to other young people what UNICEF stands for. You also organise fun activities to raise as much money as possible. Think, for instance, of a speed dating event or a pub quiz, where a certain amount of each drink sold goes to UNICEF. I learned so much during that time. How do you organise something without incurring too many costs? How do you handle communication? How do you contact local businesses? You are amazed at how much you can get done by calling, explaining and asking. Socially, too, it was a fantastic time. In such a student team, you meet people with the same mindset - because you don't sign up to volunteer
“The student teams form a tight network where you share and pass on knowledge and experience to each other”Pauline started as a student volunteer and is now working at UNICEF Netherlands
As a student volunteer Pauline worked on the first UNICEF On Ice in Breda - now an annual event.
"Later, I also did an internship at UNICEF Netherlands during my bachelor's. And now, I work there as a Children's Rights and Business specialist. But the highlight for me personally was when I became a youth representative on UNICEF's Volunteer Council. In that role, you are the link between all eighteen student teams and UNICEF Netherlands. You are involved in (event) planning and finances. You make sure the students feel heard and seen and translate UNICEF the Netherlands’ course to the student teams. So it works both ways. I have also learned a lot in that role. The student teams are now well established. They form a close-knit network in which knowledge and experience are shared and passed on. The student teams raise money each academic year for a specific UNICEF project. That motivates them to work together. I am super proud that we managed to do that."
"The motto in our team was always: your commitment is voluntary but not non-committal. You can decide what and how much you do. Logical because sometimes you have more time, sometimes less. But if you commit to something, you must also live up to it. After all, you count on each other. Of course, there is also something in return: you get trust and appreciation, and you get to implement your own ideas. And the thrill of getting something done together is priceless."