My name is Ansgar Utrata, I am 19 years old and I come from Germany. I spent the last year (September 2018 to August 2019) in Rwanda working for RDIS as a volunteer.
My sending organization is called United Evangelical Mission (UEM) where I participated in the North-South volunteer program. After my high school graduation, I wanted to do a voluntary service in order to develop as a person, get to know a new culture and make first practical experiences.
I was active in many different areas. Most of the time, I was doing office activities. For example, I helped to develop promotional material like a calendar about RDIS and a leaflet about a project. Or, when RDIS was working on a short film about the stove project, I recorded the German narrator voice. My personal highlight was to represent the organization at a booth at an international forum about the clean cooking sector in Convention Center Kigali. Often RDIS hosted international visitors, particularly from Germany. I was glad to accompany them on many interesting visits which was a nice change to everyday life. Additionally, I offered a German Class for beginners two times a week.
I am grateful for the opportunity to have spent two weeks in every of the other three zones of RDIS -Cyangugu, Butare and Kigeme. There I was working with the Field-Coordinators and we did numerous field-visits. In that way, I saw how our projects, like the improved cook stove, the ceramic water filter or the solar panel, help the rural population. Beside work, I had the chance to explore the cities.
The atmosphere in the head office was pleasant. From the beginning on, I participated in our meetings, so I felt completely integrated. I could learn a lot from my colleagues. Also, my English and French skills have improved significantly.
My voluntary service for RDIS influenced my choice of studies. I wanted to link my passion for languages with the field of management. After my return to Europe, I will study “Franco-German and International Management” in France and Germany.
Thank you RDIS for this wonderful and enriching year!