Aggrey Jackson Etwop joined us at the Community Development Centre – CDC under World University Service of Canada’s (WUSC) IGNI+E volunteering for development initiative, which is part of the Government of Canada’s newly announced Volunteer Cooperation Program with the support of Global Affairs Canada. The WUSC’s IGNI+E initiative invites Canadians to help address the root causes of youth unemployment in Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Sri Lanka, Uganda, and Vietnam – particularly for young women. CDC is a community volunteer-driven organization, and volunteerism is at the heart of our community work. Simply put, CDC would not, and could not, exist without volunteers. We have had several volunteers in the past, and we can say today that IGNITE has moved us steps ahead as we have so far received three volunteers, including Aggrey in this program, who is our first international volunteer with a Canadian background. At CDC, we appreciate the uniqueness each person brings, and two years ago, with the help of WUSC’s IGNITE, our paths crossed with our Resource Mobilization Adviser, Aggrey Jackson Etwop, and little did we know that this encounter would blossom into a remarkable journey of commitment and service. From the very beginning, it was evident that he possessed a deep sense of empathy and a genuine desire to make a difference. With a background in fundraising and a heart for social causes, he brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table.
“I have an overwhelming desire to volunteer, fueled by my passion for making a positive contribution to bring about change… my conviction to serve as a volunteer is rooted in various aspects, including helping others, contributing to refugee communities, sharing skills and experiences, networking, and a sense of well-being and belonging.” – Aggrey Jackson Etwop
When Aggrey first applied and WUSC organized a tripartite meeting, our first impression was that he was a refugee with roots in Uganda. As a refugee-led organization in Uganda, we loved that he joined us, knowing he understands the issues refugees face and the context in Uganda. Coincidentally, Aggrey chose to volunteer with Community Development Centre – CDC because he wanted to give back and support refugees who were once like him.
“On the 26th of April, 1990, I was granted the opportunity to come to Canada as an immigrant through the refugee resettlement program. Since then, I have cherished and embraced all the privileges of being a Canadian, which have been made possible by the selfless sacrifices of others and the spirit of helping those in need with my time and expertise.
As a young boy and a refugee in Kenya during the late 1980s, I witnessed the struggles of survival, particularly in three fundamental areas: education, economic opportunities, and empowerment for young people. These experiences drove me to search for a Canadian organization that would allow me to serve refugees and host communities, providing the support and opportunities that are so crucial for young refugees worldwide. Among the many potential organizations I evaluated, WUSC (World University Services of Canada) stood out as the best choice. My primary motivation and purpose for joining the WUSC volunteer program is to give back to the people who were once in a situation similar to mine. I want to contribute to their well-being and development, as I understand firsthand the impact of receiving such support and opportunities.” – Aggrey Jackson Etwop
During his tenure, our adviser played a pivotal role in shaping our fundraising strategies. Through meticulous planning and a keen understanding of donor dynamics, he helped secure critical funds that enabled us to expand our programs and reach out to more individuals in need, especially more youth and women. With his guidance, we successfully executed various fundraising campaigns and events, leaving an indelible mark on our organization’s financial sustainability.
“My deployment at Community Development Center (CDC) on the IGNITE project has seen me serve as a resource mobilization advisor, and what a pleasure it has been. The opportunity is a daily satisfaction as I am involved with projects that address an array of problems affecting refugees, especially the youth and women in their daily existence. This is purposefully important to me as it resonated with my aspirations of change.” – Aggrey Jackson Etwop
While his efforts undeniably yielded significant financial contributions, it is the intangible impact he had on our organization that truly sets him apart. Our adviser became an integral part of the CDC family (here we call it a community), immersing himself in the community and fostering meaningful connections with both staff and beneficiaries alike.
His genuine interest in the well-being of our community members was evident in the time he spent listening to their stories, understanding their struggles, and celebrating their successes. He brought hope to those who had lost it and inspired others to join hands in our journey towards positive change.
“Volunteering is a great way to impact the community and, at the same time, open doors for yourself in the future. As you give your time to help others, you also learn how to be a leader, properly manage your time, and be a team player.” – Aggrey Jackson Etwop
Beyond his role as a resource mobilization adviser, he served as a catalyst for growth within our organization. By sharing his expertise and insights, he empowered our team to become more proficient in fundraising strategies and donor engagement. Through workshops and training sessions, he imparted invaluable knowledge, leaving a lasting impact on our capacity to mobilize resources independently.
Furthermore, our adviser encouraged a culture of innovation, urging us to explore new avenues for fundraising and adopt creative approaches to address social challenges. His legacy will continue to resonate in the innovative projects and initiatives that have emerged under his guidance.
As we express our heartfelt gratitude to our resource mobilization adviser for his exceptional service, we know that his departure marks the beginning of a new chapter in his life. While we will undoubtedly miss his daily presence, we also know that the lessons he taught us will forever remain ingrained in the fabric of the Centre.
His legacy of compassion, dedication, and commitment to community development will continue to inspire us as we carry forth his vision. We are confident that he will excel in all his future endeavors, leaving a positive impact wherever he goes, just as he did here at the Centre.
In bidding farewell to our resource mobilization adviser, we celebrate the incredible journey we embarked on together over the past two years. As we move forward, we do so with deep gratitude for the time we spent together and the inspiration he leaves behind.
To our dear adviser, thank you for being a guiding light and a driving force in our pursuit of “Building Strong and Resilient Communities”. We wish you the very best in all your future endeavors, and remember, you will always have a special place in the hearts of the CDC community. Farewell and good luck!