Some prospective recruits at Chea Sim University
My previous project reports have mainly focused on the progress of Youth Star volunteers as they undertake their work in rural communities. I thought you might be interested in learning how we recruit our volunteers, as this is one of the major activities of Youth Star and a task we are now busy undertaking.
The recruitment process requires considerable forward planning. As we only recruit university graduates, we generally need to communicate with potential volunteers before they graduate. To do this, we undertake presentations at three Cambodian universities to students in their final year. The current recruitment program is for volunteers who will start their placements in August 2015.
Our presentations focus on the Youth Star philosophy and the benefits to both the students and communities in which they serve from being a Youth Star volunteer for one year. We involve two Youth Star volunteer alumni in these presentations, so students can ask questions of former volunteers about the various aspects of volunteering. A common question asked of alumni is what life is actually like in the village communities, as many Cambodian students have little experience of life in these communities.
The most difficult part of our recruitment is explaining the longer term benefits of being a Youth Star volunteer. We only provide our volunteers with a modest monthly stipend, whereas students will receive a much higher salary if they obtain employment post-graduation. We focus on the benefits volunteers can provide to rural communities, as we are targeting students with a social conscience who will hopefully become future leaders of Cambodian civil society.
At Youth Star we are proud of our achievements in developing future leaders. We have a strong Youth Star alumni group who get together regularly throughout the year. Once they have completed their volunteering, our alumni are also sought after employees and generally find positions with good career prospects, often in areas developing Cambodian society. Next week we have three volunteers who are completing their time with Youth Star and all three have already secured good positions.
We are fortunate to have the assistance of Cambodian universities in providing us with facilities to assist our recruitment and lecturers who promote our activities. Youth Star volunteer positions are also advertised on our website, Facebook page and Cambodia’s major recruitment website - www.bongthom.com.
Of course advertising our volunteering positions is only the beginning of the recruitment process. There is always constant liaison with potential volunteers and usually their parents, who often have concerns about their child living in a rural community for 12 months and questions about how Youth Star will provide support during this time. Once we have shortlisted potential volunteers, we also test them for their suitability in being able to handle the rigours of village life and particularly their conflict resolution skills.
We have already gone through these processes for the next round of volunteers, who after pre-departure training from Youth Star are expected to commence their placements in March 2015, subject to funding being available to support them for 12 months. We have another Globalgiving project currently underway to try and raise these funds and we would welcome your support enabling us to reach this goal.
I would welcome any questions you have about our recruitment process or any other aspect of Youth Star’s work. Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Presenting on the benefits of being a YS volunteer
Learning about the Youth Star approach
Finding out what is required to be a YS volunteer