Current Placement Spotlight: Olivia Dymek in Hanoi, Vietnam

In Hanoi, Vietnam, Olivia is pursuing her 10-month placement with the Centre for Sustainable Rural Development (SRD) through World University Services Canada (WUSC). Having completed four months of her placement, Olivia reflects on her placement journey so far. At the intersection of governance and climate change, Olivia is undertaking work for the Centre for Sustainable Rural Development (SRD). SRD has numerous projects focusing on Sustainable Agriculture, Rural Livelihoods, Climate Change Adaptation, Forestry Governance, and Pro-Poor Policy Advocacy. SRD further empowers disadvantaged communities in rural and mountainous areas to sustainably manage their own livelihood systems.

Olivia with elephants

Olivia is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Scholarship Award. As a Program Support Officer at the Centre for Sustainable Rural Development, Olivia currently manages the communication aspects of the organization. She is currently in charge of managing the social media account for the Centre and is also working on the website redesign. Olivia is also leading the Green Committee, an initiative proposed by WUSC in Hanoi. It aims to reduce the usage of single-use plastic in Vietnam. Olivia facilitates meetings, designs toolkits for the volunteers and partners, and is currently working on implementing a social media campaign that will raise awareness on alternatives to plastic. The Green Committee WUSC is also part of the Community of Practice on Reducing plastic pollution in Vietnam and is sitting along representatives from UNESCO, USAID, UNDP and various embassies such as the Canadian, US, and British. She has also visited schools with the Canadian and New Zealand embassies to discuss this issue with youth in Vietnam.  Olivia’s research interests focus on plastic pollution. Vietnam is the fourth largest contributor to plastic waste entering the ocean and Olivia’s research aims to understand why Vietnam generates so much waste in the ocean, primarily focusing on food waste.

Olivia on World Clean Up Day

In her free time, Olivia volunteers in Hanoi, attends conferences, and travels across Vietnam. She is also going to travel to Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia in the coming months. She looks forward to exploring work related to project management and programming in the remaining placement months.