"Over the past 10 years, I have seen many pictures and heard inspiring stories from families and friends who volunteered for underprivileged communities overseas. This sparked my interest in participating in a similar program. I have always enjoyed getting involved and volunteering within my own community. I am motivated by the ability to help others and am happiest when I can spread my energy and positive spirit onto those around me. I love to keep busy and work hard on projects that lead to tangible, visible results.
In 2016, I had the privilege of travelling to Nicaragua with a good friend. We spent 10 days backpacking through various cities and towns, experiencing a new culture, hiking up volcanoes, and learning about the rich local history. This experience caused me to fall in love with backpacking, but also demonstrated that so many countries around the world could use support. We are so privileged here in Canada, that it is easy to forget about the issues occurring worldwide. Since then, I have been looking for opportunities to backpack through new locations, soaking up new experiences and cultures, while finding ways to give back to the communities I visit.
Now in my final semester of Mechanical Engineering, I have been coming up with a plan of what to do after graduation. That is when I came across the organization Operations Groundswell; a non-profit, backpacking-style, volunteer-based organization that is dedicated to taking young adults outside of their comfort zones and into the wider world to explore, learn, and give back to communities in need. And then, to make things even better, I found their program called “Farm to Table”, in Thailand. Food is another very big passion of mine. I love to try new things, experiment with new recipes, and incorporate various cultures into each dish I create. Additionally, I am very concerned for the environment, and am always careful to eat in a sustainable manner while supporting local farmers.
Farm to Table with Operations Groundswell, incorporates all of my passions and provides me with a fantastic opportunity to help others while supporting a cause I care a lot about: sustainable farming practices. While getting my hands dirty volunteering on an organic farm, I will learn first-hand about alternative modes of food production.
Volunteering my time and efforts to the foundations and farms in Thailand will provide them temporary relief and bring a new positive energy among them. However, monetary support is also important for them. I am raising money to help organizations in Thailand such as The Mirror Foundation and Pun Pun Centre for Self Reliance; continue to help sustain their local economy and live more self-reliant lifestyles."
Check out Elise's crowdfunding campaign page below!