In 2016, Margot McManus was seeking opportunities to visit and work in new places. Through the Communications department at Concordia University, she heard about CEED.
That summer, she took part in the Youth Advocacy & Communications project with CEED. During her free time, McManus could be found “going on runs after work through the villages outside of the city of Gulu.”
McManus credits CEED to giving her “a sense of just how rewarding non-profit work can be.”
It is no secret that non-profit work in developing countries has quite a negative perception. McManus was not exempt from buying into this narrative. “My views were limited to the sort of voluntourism type of work you often see,” she begins, “this trip certainly opened my eyes to what volunteering abroad can entail. After this experience, I know that it is possible to volunteer effectively and ethically when taking the right approaches.”
Following her Summer with CEED, McManus had the opportunity to continue exploring her interest in non-profit work while interning for The Women in Nature, a non-profit in Guyana, South America. “I provided media coverage for a three day sustainability and development conference.”
Her interest in the media arts also led her to South East Asia. “I spent time in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Laos, traveling by motorcycle and bus on a self-guided photography tour [for two months].”
She’s currently wrapping up the last semester of her degree. “[I am] currently working as an intern for a documentary production company in Montreal as an editing assistant on a music documentary.”
McManus encourages all future CEED participants to “soak in every moment, take advantage of every opportunity, spend as much time off the compound as possible and explore the community of Gulu and all that it has to offer….and pack light!”