Twenty-four year-old Leila Malguitou worked alongside volunteers from Togo, West Africa for ten weeks, as part of the government funded development programme, International Citizen Service (ICS).
Leila, worked on a project run by the development charity, Y Care International where she; taught English to pupils in schools, worked in an orphanage where support was given to children and staff, led workshops within the youth prison with prisoners aged 12-17, assisted the YMCA on their developing Slum Projects and raised awareness in local communities on health issues such as Malaria, HIV, AIDS and STI’s (Sexually transmitted infections ). The project also worked in conjunction with parents and disabled children by providing support and creating human rights awareness. In addition, Leila helped build a canteen in a school for children living in one of many slum areas.
ICS allows young people aged 18-25 to contribute to long-term development in one of 28 developing countries. The scheme offers young people a chance to develop personally and learn about team working and leadership on projects that are of a genuine value to tackle social exclusion and poverty in some of the poorest communities around the world.
Leila said: “it was the most life-changing, challenging and rewarding experience working in Togo, and now I am back in the UK, I feel extremely inspired and motivated by the people I lived and worked with. This news article is just the first step to me becoming more active in my community and hopefully making a positive change in the world. I’m keen to get involved in more volunteering opportunities to help empower young vulnerable people and encourage more people to take part in the incredible opportunity that is ICS.”
‘I have met so many amazing people throughout my ICS journey; it was the most extraordinary ten weeks of my life!
I have gained a whole variety of new skills such as: team work, leadership, project management and excellent communication skills as a result of ICS. It is such a unique experience to work alongside people from a different culture who have requested help from young volunteers to fight poverty and I would encourage anyone aged 18-25 to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity!”
Brian Rockliffe, Director of ICS, said: “We’re passionate about investing in young people, our future leaders, and using their energy to tackle poverty. Our experience of working with young people shows they want to challenge the status quo, take on some of the big issues and make a difference. ICS creates active citizens who make a lifelong contribution to positive change in the UK and developing countries.” To find out more about ICS or to apply, visit: www.volunteerics.org or call 0208 780 7400