Volunteering with The Welcome Card
I have been a silent supporter of The Welcome Card since its inception. I admired the team for its ambition tackling a global issue. I looked on as team members worked tirelessly to develop and improve the concept and witnessed their goals and vision expand with each success. But when I was given the opportunity to volunteer with The Welcome Card, by representing the project at a conference on migration and technology, the team’s aspirations and goals became my own.
When I was first asked to attend the International Centre for Migration Policy Development’s (ICMPD) conference in Lisbon, Portugal, I secretly panicked. I began asking myself questions like: What’s the difference between a migrant and refugee? A refugee and an asylum seeker? What if people think I’m an uninformed American? What do I really know about the refugee crisis? I was already being pushed outside of my comfort zone and I hadn’t even left yet. And that’s why I knew I needed to take part in this amazing opportunity. I wanted to learn and to challenge myself.
So in December 2017, I flew to Lisbon. The conference did not focus solely on international protection and asylum, but all types of migration, and how innovation and technology can tackle migration challenges and government operations. With participants from nearly 20 different countries and diverse professions, the conference sparked conversations about how our societies cater to the welcome, invest in migrants, and protect asylum seekers.
Volunteering my time for The Welcome Card has expanded my knowledge of migration and the refugee crisis, exposed me to a compassionate and intellectual network of professionals from diverse fields and countries, and challenged me to think outside the borders of my own country.
If you are interested in how you can become involved with The Welcome Card, or simply have questions, I urge you to reach out to us. There is so much to learn and so much we can accomplish together.
Meaghan Boenig, design and copywriting
Meaghan is a graduate of the University of Kentucky with a bachelor’s degree in Interior Design, and enjoys tackling all types of challenges through design thinking. Her passion lies in community development and human-centered design, especially in an interdisciplinary setting. She has taken part in mission projects in the United States, Canada, and Guatemala.