IntAward Pals: A New Way to Connect with Alumni Around the World
Question: What is the main idea behind the project?
Illyria: It is a virtual pen pal project for Award Alumni from all over the world. Everyone who registers before November 15 2020 will be paired with an Award holder from another country with similar interests. They will be expected to communicate with each other regularly, for about an hour a week for three months. Because I know talking to strangers online for such a long time isn't easy, each week, I will share optional prompts for conversation and everyone is welcome to respond to them so we can learn more about each other, our different countries, and the Award. Once a month, there will be the option to join in for IntAward Tea, a big online call open to all participants.
Q: What is the main goal behind the project?
I: In these difficult times, most of us can't travel to meet new people, explore new cultures and step out of our comfort zones. Yet everyone who has completed the Award knows how important these things are. Meeting new people from outside our social bubble helps us become more empathetic, imagine the world differently and inspires us to make our corner of the world better. Moreover, communication is the basis of community and without working together globally, we cannot successfully face global challenges - the pandemic, global warming, social inequality and more. I believe this project is a small step toward becoming a more #worldready global Award alumni community.
Q: How can I get involved?
I: Registration opened on October 15th and is open only until 15 November 2020, so if you'd like to participate, go sign in to the new alumni platform and join the IntAward Pals group. You can do so here: https://alumni.intaward.org/. There you will find more details about the project and a link to the registration form. If the project is successful, registration may reopen in the Spring of 2021.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?
I: I am the president of the Czech Alumni Group, Dofe Klub. I am a Bronze, Silver, and Gold Award holder and I attended the International Gold Event in Prague in 2017. Ever since then I have been an active member of the Award community, helping at ceremonies, evaluating adventurous journeys, organizing local events for alumni, helping launch the global award alumni platform, and more. Aside from the Award, I am studying Library and Information Science at Charles University and have a part-time job at the Webarchive of the Czech National Library.