Report by Paula Kearns.
David Goulding and Grant Walker both connected with the Birchwood are fundraising to support a project that tackles poverty in Africa where they will be volunteering for 12 weeks.
David (23) will travel to Nicaragua and Bukina Faso in September with international development organisation Raleigh, as part of the UK Government Funded International Citizen Service (ICS) programme. Grant (18) will be on placement with International Service who empower women, children, young people and disabled people to access their rights in developing countries across the world. Once there they will work in partnership with local volunteers to help raise some of the world’s poorest communities out of poverty.
Before they leave for Africa they must raise £800 each. Grant held a very successful band gig fundraising night on Saturday 20th August and David is planning bag packing sessions and bucket collections.
Grant said “The money raised from our fundraising will help make sure that the communities in developing countries continue to benefit from the work of future volunteers, so it’s vital we reach our target. We have been working really hard in partnership with the E-Rooms to make sure the bands are booked and local businesses have been very supportive donating raffle prizes and offering their help and support!”
As David explains “the project I’m working on aims to help local communities build and maintain schools, houses and business in Nicaragua all of whom are less fortunate than ourselves. I feel that I have been fortunate to have received help and support from staff at Birchwood to turn my life around and now I would like the opportunity to help make a difference to other people’s lives and experience another culture at the same time”.
International Citizens Service allows young people aged 18-25 to make a valuable contribution to sustainable development projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America. On return to the UK, ICS volunteers undertake an ‘Action at Home’ project, ensuring that their new skills also benefit their local communities. Over 10,000 young people from the UK have taken part in the scheme in the last three years.