Volunteer Voices: Ivan

Tell us a little about yourself.
I am originally from Jakarta, Indonesia and I came to Hong Kong to study Psychology and Marketing as an undergraduate at HKU. I have always been interested in people and that pushed me to study Psychology as I wish to understand how people feel and act in their daily lives. Throughout high school and in university, I always seek other people and simply enjoy their presence. I tend to enjoy working with people more rather than working on my own.

How did you first get involved with ICM?
I actually found ICM through the university since they require us to do a summer internship that is beneficial for us and the community. I chose ICM because based on the job description it seemed to suit me the most (I was looking for a Marketing Communication role). Apart from the specific role, I was most intrigued by ICM’s core values. It operates on Christian values and aims to help people who are in need.

What do you do when you volunteer?
Apart from my interest in people, I have always enjoyed managing events, and luckily that was one of the main tasks that was assigned to me. I was responsible for planning the Hygiene Heroes Corporate Challenge, a team-building event that will be jointly hosted by ICM and Soap Cycling. I was mainly responsible for preparing the logistical aspects of the event such as the event rundown and the game for the event. Apart from managing events, I was responsible for creating a 2018-2019 marketing calendar for ICM and helping out with daily tasks in the office.

What personal benefits/growth have you experience through volunteering?
Throughout my internship, I learned a lot about the work that ICM has done, how it is helping out the ultrapoor in the Philippines. I personally learned more about teamwork and gained organizational skills through planning the event. Apart from new skills, I am now more aware of the condition of the ultrapoor in the Philippines and how much they need help, not only financially but also psychologically and spiritually. It made me realize that people in ultrapoverty are actually marginalized by the society and they need social support to help them improve their lives. Through seeing the holistic support ICM offers, I felt personally more empowered to make a difference and thankful that I could serve God in this kind of environment. ICM has also made me realize how blessed I am as an individual as I do not have to struggle to simply live my everyday life. So all in all, it has actually brought me closer to God and made me more aware of people who live in ultrapoverty.

Any memorable experiences?
Personally, the most memorable experience was meeting and building relationships with people who are super passionate about God and humanity. We did a Thanksgiving Day as one whole ICM: Hong Kong office, the Manila headquarters, the base offices in the Philippines, and some board members who are in the US. We reflected on how far ICM has come and how God will provide us with what we need, not just what we want. After that, we continued with an office fun day where we had lunch together and did some team-building activities. That day was really memorable since it brought everyone closer together. Another memorable experience was preparing for a large scale fundraising event, the Hygiene Heroes Corporate Challenge. The project was really challenging but it felt satisfying nearing the end of the planning period. The most rewarding part is the fact that the format of this fundraising event will continue to be used in the following years. I feel great that I can contribute to the ultrapoor through ICM.

What do you find most meaningful about ICM’s work?
Honestly, I was a bit sad that I did not have a chance to go to the Philippines but I realized that working in the back office is as important as working in the field. I realized that what matters the most is our intentions and the goal that we are trying to reach. For example, if we do not focus on gaining donors or hosting successful events, ICM will not have enough funds to pay the trainers and help the people in ultrapoverty in the Philippines. So through ICM I realized that every department in an organization exists for a reason and is there to enable the organization to reach its end goal. What I find most meaningful is that ICM is holistic in all areas, not just simply the Transform program but also the diverse team of people that they have in the organization. ICM welcomes people from all different backgrounds, and they accept anyone who is willing to help with the programs.

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