I loved the idea of creating something from home to help finance an international endeavour.
Our friend, Frédérique Beetz is embarking on one of Centre for International Studies and Cooperation's (CECI) volunteering projects in Bolivia. The goal is to help the local community of artisans transfer their knowledge and products into the online spectrum of business. More info here.
To finance her travels, she's selling beautiful customized booklets created by Montreal's Baltic Club.
Why do I like this booklet (other than the fact that I've become a compulsive note taker)?
Before checking out the booklets, you can learn a little more about Fred and her journey from student to soon-to-be-volunteer below.
Can you describe yourself in two sentences?
I’m very talkative so limiting to two sentences is hard!
I’m driven by the creative people and the projects that surround me. I love to plan a thousands adventures and to imagine everywhere I could go and everything I could do.
How do you like your cup of coffee?
I like it with some sugar and a cloud of milk but it has to be lactose free.
How did you become involved with the country of Bolivia and why do you wish to help?
To be honest, I applied for the program (through CECI) a few days before it closed on an impulse.
South America never really spoke to me until very recently. I started reading up on the countries and the culture. Suddenly, I felt a strong attraction to the place.
As a woman I feel I have much to learn and much to offer. I just want to share my ICT (information and communication technologies) passion with people who could benefit from it.
It's a great opportunity to gain some work experience for myself while helping the Bolivian community. In the end, it's the people in Bolivia that will decide how they want us to get involve in order to help them implement a strategy to transition their artwork to e-commerce.
The goal is that they're able to continue what we have put in place long after my group and I have left.
What do you hope to accomplish by going to La Paz, Bolivia?
I would like to motivate people, especially young women, and help them see how much technologies can be rewarding if you work hard on a project that you believe in.
Are you nervous, anxious or scared for your two-and-a-half month trip?
Of course! Who wouldn't be? But it's a positive nervousness. It's still hard to believe that I am going there for such an extended period of time.
I’m a little worried on how everyday life in Bolivia might be. I’m currently learning about the precautions you have to take to stay safe as well as what is considered appropriate behavior in their culture. I’m a little bit scared of how my body will react to the high altitude of La Paz. I’ve spent some time living in Whistler and I tend to get dizzy easily.
Why did you choose Baltic Club as a partner to create your notebooks?
I’ve been following Baltic Club’s Instagram for a long time. I loved their designs and personality.
I wanted to offer something that was both local and ecological. Baltic Club was able to offer both (and they were willing to collaborate with me even if I had a 101 demands). I loved the idea of creating something from home to help finance an international endeavour.
Talking about booklets, what is the best book that you have read in the past year?
I read Tools for Grassroots Activists: Best Practices for Success in the Environmental Movement to get inspired and to discover more tricks for my campaign.
The book was published by Patagonia. It was written to capture the best wisdom and advice from the Patagonia Tools Conferences. It's a great resource for any organization hoping to hone core skills for success in the environmental movement. It's a must read for everyone who wants to learn about using marketing for good causes.
Who (person or organization) inspires you?
I've always been a passionate skier.
For a long time I’ve followed the work of Alpine Initiatives. More recently I’ve been interested in Protect Our Winter’s (POW) work. They are mobilizing the outdoor sports community against climate change. Professional athletes and companies who help and educate the public through their actions demonstrate powerful inspiration.
Where can people follow your adventures and learn more about your project?
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