Stories can shape people;
they can inspire them

to think and act differently.

Seeds of Hope Stories

Stories can shape people; they can inspire them to think and act differently.
Over the coming months, we will release some stories of our own. 
We would like to introduce you to our Vanderful Volunteers, who are the Seeds of Hope ODV team.

“Hope is being able to see the light despite all the darkness.”

~Desmond Tutu

Victoria Farrell (Vikki)

In which year did you join Seeds of Hope & what’s your country of origin?
Francesco and I, with the help of our Board of Directors established Seeds of Hope ODV officially in February 2019, although the idea of the Vanderful Project was born late 2018. At the time we were living in Namibia, but I’m originally from the United Kingdom.
What is your role at Seeds of Hope ODV? 
My role is the Managing Director, I coordinate the day to day management of the organisation, as well as implementing and facilitating our Expressive Arts workshops.
What do you like most about your role? 
I feel as if I have been working towards this role, without really knowing it, since I was a teenager. In July 2021, I started  working full time for Seeds of Hope ODV. What I like most, has and will always be, implementing the workshops in different communities. I know that management is vital, but I do all the serious stuff knowing that I will do the fieldwork again soon!
What inspired you to volunteer? 
I’ve often said to many people that I’ve always acquired the best jobs by volunteering first! Vanderful / Seeds of Hope ODV started off and continues to be voluntary, but we are motivated by the impact we know we have and can make to the communities we work with. All the volunteers I have met during my career have always been the kindest, most down to earth types of people, hence why we began a volunteering organisation!

Learn More About Vanderful Expressive Arts

seeds of hope since 2019







What is your greatest strength? How does it help you at Seeds of Hope? 
I think that my greatest strength is my communication skills. I know that my personality is very approachable and compassionate, so I believe it has helped me connect with various people such as other volunteers, our Board, stakeholders in the communities, collaborators, sponsors and donors, also networking with other organisations’ directors on platforms like GlobalGiving. 
What are some of your best memories at Seeds of Hope? 
There are too many to choose from! I think the most profound memory that I often mention was my experience with the girls in Angola, this was also my biggest challenge, but it taught me so much, I will never forget it. 
Upon arriving in Angola, I was faced with a society that was heavily patriarchal and the community we were working with were not used to having a woman like me present. It took weeks and many sleepless nights to try and work out a strategy to overcome these barriers, particularly with the girls. The girls were afraid of me, some would often run away and shrink if I gave them any attention or even came close to them, even if I tried to hold their hand. During our sixth week we were hosting the community, child-led performance: 
‘Chegas de Moscas, Vamos limpar!’ (Enough of the flies, let’s clean!)
At the end of that spectacular day, all of the girls from our group wouldn’t let me go! We remained in a group hug for about an hour, even walking down the beach at sunset on the way back to their homes all huddled together. There are so many other memories that are worth mentioning but we would be here for hours! I will always look back at all of our performances / plays with joy. 
How do you stay motivated on the not-so-sunny days? 
When things get really tough or I lose focus, I revisit memories like the one I just described above which helps motivate me again. Also, sadly one of our Vanderful participants in Namibia, Silent, took his life in 2020. When things are difficult I think of him, he reminds me to continue to do what I am doing. To do it for him, do it for the other Silents out there. 
What advice would you give to someone who wants to be a volunteer? 
As mentioned above, I would say the same and explain that volunteering, at least for me, has been the most rewarding and enriching experience of my life. When you do something led by your heart, helping others, there’s no price on that feeling and it has always led me to even better experiences too.

Icebreaker Questions

If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you choose to be? 
This is a difficult question as I am a huge animal lover, I love so many. I probably would choose a horse. I love horse riding and I love nothing better than galloping through a forest, the desert or on a beach. They’re also vegetarian, gentle and intuitive, they also like to stay with others
Would you rather live in the ocean or on the moon? 
I would choose either as I love the ocean and Space, however I’m not a great swimmer so maybe living on the moon would be less pressure and I could stargaze all the time!
What is your best idea for a new invention? 
I think a reform of education across the world! I would love to design a curriculum that was nature based and inclusive, which would tick all of the developmental goals, doing away with tests/exams so that children and young people could thrive in whatever they loved and enjoyed without pressure. It would also value mindful and creative activities that alleviate stress and anxiety in our society.
Are you sunrise, daylight, twilight, or nighttime? Why?
I find it hard to choose just one as I value all parts of the day! I love seeing the sunrise, (although it doesn’t happen that often), daylight we spend the most time in and get things done, twilight is stunning and nighttime is incredible, especially when there’s a clear sky and I love sleeping! Ok, if I have to choose one, I’ll choose twilight, as I love the feeling it gives me and the soft light at that time of day.