A life-changing experience of working with women living in poverty in Burkina Faso has prompted a Leamington 23-year-old to urge others to follow suit.
Natasha Medley-Whitfield, of Clarendon Square, recently returned from an 11-week volunteer placement in the rural communities of Guilongou and Ziniaré in the African country, where she worked for the women’s organisation Kabeela, which provides literacy teaching, training and income-generating activities for women and raises awareness about health issues that may affect them.
The former Trinity School pupil and Brighton University student said: “Teaching numeracy to women who are more than often denied this level of education was rewarding in itself when I saw the progress they made, but by also helping to set up an educational child sponsorship scheme, I was ensured that many of their daughters would not suffer the same lack of education.
“I would urge other young people to volunteer overseas. It is an exhilarating opportunity which will allow you to help others, whilst immersing yourself in a completely different culture. I will never forget the time that I spent their or the things that I have learnt.”
Natasha’s placement was with the international development charity International Service. She had to raise £1,500 to enable her to go on the trip. Anyone aged between 18 and 25 can apply to take part in placements in West Africa, the Middle East and South America. To find out more, visit www.internationalservice.org.uk
To learn more about Kabeela, visit asskabeela.com