Lucy shares her Uganda experience
A Ponteland teenager, who spent 10 weeks working on a project fighting poverty in Africa, is now calling on other young people to take the plunge and consider volunteering overseas.
Lucy Denyer travelled to Uganda in May with international development organisation Restless Development as part of the International Citizen Service (ICS) programme funded by the UK Government.
She lived with a local host family and worked alongside young volunteers from Uganda and the UK.
ICS volunteers, aged 18 to 25, work on long-term projects that seek to end poverty in some of the poorest countries in the world.
The 19-year-old said: “We taught sessions on topics such as basic first aid and teenage pregnancy to give young people the knowledge to keep themselves safe.
“The unemployment rate of young people in Uganda is high, which is why we also focused on skills and livelihood training.
“As part of this, we taught young people how to make petroleum jelly, liquid soap and cakes using a sigiri – a charcoal stove.
“The aim of these sessions was to encourage young people to set up their own businesses to generate income for themselves and their families.
“I had an amazing time in Uganda. Living with my host family was definitely one of the best parts and it was incredible how welcoming the people in our village were, we were treated as family.”
She added that those interested in the ICS programme can find out more and apply at www.volunteerics.org