Student Report – Bolivian Trip

Bolivia (1)

How my Itchy Feet will Help Children in Bolivia

I thank The Corsham School for my itchy feet, although World Challenge might also have something to do with it.

I finished at The Corsham School in 2007, and it is definitely true that you don’t realise how wonderful school days were until you arrive at the ominous gates of the ‘Real World’. Among many highlights of my time here was a month-long expedition to Zambia with World Challenge. It opened my eyes to the amazing opportunities other cultures have to offer and left me with the terrible condition of itchy feet. I believe this is medically defined as ‘an inability to remain in the UK for a period longer than 18 months due to an overwhelming desire to learn and explore’.

I wanted to share my latest project with you for two reasons. Firstly, I want to show you where you can end up if you take the amazing opportunities The Corsham School offers. Secondly I ask that, if you can see the value in young people being able to take part in projects such as this, you might make a donation to a very worthwhile cause.

In September 2013 I will be moving to Bolivia for 12 weeks to volunteer with a charity which supports local children and young people to build their own futures. Bolivia is the poorest country in Latin America and half the population is under 18 years old. Many of these young people won’t get access to healthcare or a great education like we do in England and this is why the charity has requested help from people like me and you.

Bolivia (2)This project is one of many run by ‘International Citizen Service’ (ICS). From 2012-2015 they will send out 7,000 young people aged 18-25 to work in 28 of the world’s poorest countries alongside local volunteers. It costs £7,000 to send out each volunteer, including flights, accommodation, food, in-country staff, visas, immunisations and much much more. The great thing about this programme is that all of that is paid for by the UK government (Department for International Development to be precise) as they realise the amazing work that young people can do. If you are currently in the 6th form (or have a son/daughter/friend who is!) then please look up ICS as it would be an amazing thing to do over the summer or before university.

One request made to all volunteers is that they fundraise to help keep the project running. Although the UK government will pay for me to go on this project, they do not pay for the amazing work of the UK charities that actually make it happen. These charities work long and hard to organise the placements for 7,000 young people, allowing them to use their skills to make a difference to the world. Therefore I plan to fundraise £1,500 to make sure that other young people get the same opportunity I have. And here’s all I ask…

If you would like to help other young people continue to take part in life-changing opportunities which make a difference to the world, then please make a donation towards my £1,500 target at www.justgiving.com/steph-hovey.

I hope you have been inspired to look up ‘International Citizen Service’ and even if you are not going to be 18 any time soon, please take advantage of all that Corsham School has to offer you. If I hadn’t, then I wouldn’t be doing things like this today!

By Steph Hovey