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International Volunteer Lands Dream Job

Two-time IVHQ volunteer, Andrew Ahmed, has just landed his dream job on the IVHQ Video Tour - tasked with the role of capturing footage and interviews to provide future IVHQers with a videographic insight into IVHQ's volunteer abroad programs. Discover how Andrew landed the job and what it has in store for him over the next couple of months...

The past few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind. Roughly 3 months ago, I contacted IVHQ with a video I’d shot on one of my two volunteer stints with them – Turtle Conservation in Costa Rica in 2013 (the other was Childcare in Nepal in 2010). I am a professional filmmaker and photographer (23 years old, from Toronto, Canada – nice to meet you!), so I figured the trip would also be a great opportunity to capture some beautiful footage – and it was. It was an experience I’ll never forget. The country was beautiful, the people were charming, the program was commendable, and the experience was something magical. With all the beauty around me, I had no problem putting together a highlight of my trip using the best clips and putting it all together to music. I sent that to IVHQ with the (at the time, unrealistic, so I thought) hope that maybe they’d like to hire me to shoot for them overseas.

A couple months later, I received an email saying that they would like me to create videos for 7 of their programs – Argentina, Madagascar, Zambia, Victoria FallsUganda, Philippines and Laos. It sounded unreal. I was ecstatic. My parents were ecstatic. My favourite gig before this was shooting a wedding in Jamaica. Needless to say, I love travelling. This was to become my new ‘best gig’ by far.

Since receiving that email, I’ve been going full tilt in trying to get everything organized – visas, getting the right camera gear, packing lists, etc. Before getting hired, I was already planning to go to Thailand and India to create a couple short films this winter, so that gets pushed back a month to do this IVHQ trip, and then I’m being sent off from Africa to Bangkok to continue the trip. Between the IVHQ trip and my own personal trip, there’s been a lot to figure out.

IVHQ videographer, Andrew Ahmed.

I thrive on being busy though. The next couple months will be hectic, shooting constantly, and editing on my time off. I’m sure I’ll be meeting a bunch of new friends, experiencing so much of the world I’ve never seen before, learning about the human condition, and about issues I’d never considered before. As much as I’m sure I’ll enjoy this trip, I plan to capture it all as I see it, and hope that IVHQ hopefuls will be able to see what I’ve seen through the lens of my camera, and get an idea of what these places and projects are like.

Combining my passions of filmmaking and travel, it’s a dream come true. It’s going to be an adventure like nothing I’ve experienced before, and I cannot wait to see what’s to come.

IVHQ videographer, Andrew Ahmed during a volunteer trip

Keep up to date with Andrew's tour by following the #IVHQvideotour hashtag on Instagram and Twitter, or stay tuned to the International Volunteer HQ Facebook page.

To catch footage from IVHQ's other international volunteer programs, check out the IVHQ Video Tour Playlist on YouTube.

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