ORAM TOP VOLUNTEERS – DEEJAY ALEX – ORAM REFUGEE
What attracted you to volunteer for ORAM? I first found out about ORAM through of a Drag Performer friend called Miss Conception, who is also a friend of Brand G Vacations, and the CEO of Brand G Vacations connected me with Bella (ORAM’S communication coordinator). Bella reached out and I offered my services on a volunteer basis!
What is your day-job or what do you do when you’re not volunteering with ORAM? I don’t really have a day job because I’m basically a freelance graphic designer and multimedia designer involved with anything having to do with the internet. I do volunteer work with other organizations in Toronto (that’s where I’m currently living!). One of the organizations I volunteer with is called the Red Dress Ball that helps people with A.I.D.S. and now Red Dress Ball has become an annual event. When I’m not working…well…I’m actually always working, but only because I want to improve what I do – I play by learning.
How long have you been volunteering with ORAM? I am currently helping Bella with ORAM’s website and I’ve been volunteering with ORAM for about three months. This is my first-year volunteering with ORAM and hopefully there will be many more.
What did the basis of your volunteer work consist of? The basis of my volunteer work has been virtual broadcasting – so helping out with the technical sides of hosting online live shows/events. This past June I helped host Refugee Pride where we had 100+ people attend. That has been the main focus of my volunteer work and down the road I hope there are other events I can help out with. At the moment, I am also trying to help out with web design and keeping ORAM’s website errors free, hopefully soon I’ll help update the website all together and modernize it.
What has been the most rewarding part about volunteering with ORAM? Actually, that’s an easy question for me. When we produced that show live [in regards to ORAM’s Refugee Pride Facebook live event], hearing the stories told by LGBTIQ asylum seekers and knowing you’re a part of a group like ORAM, that is helping those LGBTIQ asylum seekers in countries that are oppressed or victimized by governments and people – just being involved is rewarding enough. I was watching a lot of videos sent to me to edit for the show and I got chocked up watching them. I live in a country like Canada where open-mindedness and freedom are our biggest assets – knowing I can help somebody who doesn’t have that, whether they’re in Nigeria or Uganda or Iraq or here – that’s rewarding enough in itself.