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Alexander Deceuninck


Who am I ?

Hi, my name is Alexander, but most people call me Alex. I’m Belgian and at the time of writing this text I’m 29. Being always fascinated by the mafia and cartels during my teenage years, I decided to study "criminology" at the University of Ghent. After my studies I worked as an educator in a boarding school in Mulhouse, France and as a receptionist in Hostel De Draecke, Ghent. I describe myself as a social, easygoing and open-minded person. I like to practice lots of sports: table tennis, badminton, tennis, squash and swimming. Oh and I really like to discover new cultures, probably the biggest reason I’ve lived in several countries (Belgium, Colombia, France and Italy).                                  

What’s my role within Intercambio?

I’m the head of Intercambio, I’m responsible for setting out our ideology/policies/plans, our fundraising campaigns and the management of our team. Apart from this, you’ll also often find me participating in our activities on our projects and events, spending time with our volunteers, the local population and our donors. These are moments where we enjoy ourselves and when I carefully take the time to listen to the desires of all the actors. It’s important to get different perspectives on various problems, this in a way to keep growing as a foundation. 

Furthermore, what I see as my biggest responsibility is facilitating exchanges between people from different nationalities/cultures. Intercambio is all about creating understanding and respect towards each other. In both professional and personal life, I stimulate people to reach out and engage with people from different backgrounds.

What’s my personal experience with volunteering?

My first experience with volunteering took place at Habbekrats (Ghent), where I organized camps and activities for a group of disadvantaged teenagers. In 2019 I made a long trip to Colombia, where I mainly volunteered in hostels (receptionist, bartender, organizing activities,...). The moment I decided to go out of the touristy places and saw extreme poverty for the first time in my life, a do-gooder emerged in myself. I decided to teach English to a group of adolescents in "Comuna Trece", a slum in Medellín. I liked listening to their stories and sharing my life experience with them. I convinced them that speaking fluent English, can contribute to a “positive” way out of poverty (jobs in tourism).

I learned a lot during these volunteering experiences, but I felt that with proper feedback my work could have been of higher quality. And that’s where Intercambio comes in, we want to give volunteers the guidance I lacked during my volunteering experiences, which will eventually benefit all actors.

Alexander Deceuninck
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