TGAL Reflection from Constantin Becker

SERVE volunteer Constantin Becker reflects on his time so far with SERVE’s Think Global Act Local programme.

“When I first heard of Think Global Act Local (TGAL) I was both excited and sceptical. How could Volunteering work via Zoom? What are the topics of the sessions? Am I really going to learn something new? 

So I applied and on the 10th of April TGAL then finally began. My excitement was soon bested by the interesting workshops in our first session.  

After the Introduction we went straight in with a module on Personal Development. I also learned that Words and how we express ourselves have a big impact and got a look at many new phrases. Another thing that caught my attention was the Workshop on marginalised Groups in Ireland, especially the Travelling Community. I didn’t even think of the discriminations against them here in Ireland before TGAL. The shocking Truth brought forth by TGAL opened my eyes, making me even more interested in the Programme. 

The next session was one month later, but no worries, there were many ways to educate yourself in the meantime. Recommended by our Mentors, Podcasts, TED Talks, Blogs etc. gave a huge variety of learning and something for everybody. Not to mention the important challenges introduced between the Workshops plus the opportunity of listening to Guest Speakers. 

The Guest Speakers had a big impact on me, the most major was certainly Elton Sibanda. Elton gave an insight into the Direct Provision system and its flaws. Again, my eyes were opened to a topic I did not even think about which is now impossible to forget. 

Our second workshop in May then brought forth new Topics like Ethical Consumerism and Gender Equality. Again Zoom was made interactive and exciting through the Use of Google Jamboards and Breakout Rooms. Again we reflected on ourselves and did a quick quiz on what kind of a volunteer we are. 

Our third TGAL session happened in June. This time with a bigger focus on Social Justice from both an Irish as well as from a Global Perspective. The Workshops of Personal Development and Gender Equality were continued with great enthusiasm. 

To conclude, I am very happy of being a participant for TGAL. The Programme has been very informative and a lot of fun. The answer to my questions from the Beginning can only be a big Yes”.

Group photo of TGAL Global Forum Day 3 on June 19th 2021

SERVE introduced a new programme called ‘Think Global, Act Local’ (TGAL) in 2021 in response to cancelling the Overseas Volunteer Programme. TGAL is an online global learning programme and is delivered using participatory and inclusive methods. TGAL is facilitated by mentors who have volunteered for SERVE and who have vital information shared from their own experiences in the Global South.