I have got to know IUCN for nearly 2 years now, through IUCN’s support to the Talking Green Club (TGC) of which I am a member. My first time at IUCN was when TGC helped arrange publications in the IUCN library.
The Talking Green Club is a community of environment interested young people. Our club focuses on learning about environmental issues, improving English as a second language for students and vonlunteering. For more than 2 years being supported by IUCN, TGC members including me have had many opportunities to meet with and learn from IUCN staff.
IUCN hosts TGC’s English speaking meetings every two weeks on Sunday. We all enjoy the cosy yet professional looking IUCN meeting room which creates a very encouraging atmosphere for us to practice our English and learn from each other. From time to time, IUCN experts join our meetings and talk to us on the topic of the meeting and their relevant experiences, which has inspired me and others to study more.
In 2006, TGC helped IUCN with its library re-arrangement. Together with ten other TGC members, I joined this voluntary work. Every afternoon after coming back from college, though tired, I was eager to join the team and the interesting work in the IUCN Library. We were guided by IUCN staff to arrange publications in a systematic and professional manner. As a student who hardly had the chance to actually work, I learned a lot through this experience. Watching every publication neatly rested on the shelf, we all felt happy. I myself silently thanked IUCN because of this amazing opportunity.
My most recent experience with IUCN was when I did volunteer work for the Asia Wetland Symposium from 22 to 25, June 2008 for which IUCN provided the core organizational support. More than 40 volunteers from TGC assisted with the symposium’s logistic work under the careful guidance and enthusiastic support of IUCN staff. We gained lots of experience but also had fun during the process. And I still saw it in my mind when the IUCN Program Coordinator bowed to us to give his sincere thanks even though we were of just a little help.
For me and other TGC members, IUCN has been not only a big supporter but also a dear friend who has given us both technical and spiritual back-up. This is especially valuable if you know that TGC is just a newly established community.
I will always keep in mind one of the lessons I have learned from being with IUCN, what you do is not as important as how you do it. I look forward to getting more involved with you in the future, IUCN.
Dao Thu Hien