This Summer I will be travelling over 5000 miles to Africa to volunteer on 3 valuable projects. I will be teaching English in Ghana, having obtained my TEFL qualification. Volunteering in a hospital and community clinic in Tanzania and aiding a large-scale wildlife conservation program in South Africa. Before returning to the UK to study Medicine at Bristol University.
The entire six-weeks costs over £4,500 and since completing my A levels in Summer 2019 I have been working to fund the trip. I have saved the majority (£3250) but would really appreciate any donations to help reach my final target so that I am able to support these organisations and communities. Whatever you can donate, big or small, will make a huge difference.
I will be holding a Quiz Night on Friday 15 May 2020 at Chilbolton Village Hall, Chilbolton SO20 6BJ with all profits going towards my volunteering project. The entrance fee is £8 per head and includes a hot supper. There will also be a raffle and silent auction (prize donations gratefully received). Please bring your own drinks and glasses. More details can be found on Facebook event page or by by emailing Verity.
Plan My Gap Year is a registered charity, no: 1169415 and was founded over 10 years ago to provide a safe, structured and social platform with volunteer, travel and immersion opportunities available in 17 different countries.
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In Ghana I will be teaching English at two schools in Kumasi, the Divine International School and the Christian Life Teaching School. Both have over 400 pupils, with each class accommodating around 40 students. The contribution of volunteers is invaluable in helping educate, engage and empower the children. Developing the children’s English hugely improves their job prospects and their ability to earn money to support their family.
In Tanzania, I will be volunteering in Meru government hospital and Olorien Community Clinic in Arusha. This part of the trip is especially important to me, as I will be studying medicine at Bristol University on my return. Having shadowed doctors during 2 weeks work experience in British hospitals, I am intrigued to see the challenges faced in the developing World.
In Africa, there is an acute shortage of health care workers with only 1 doctor for every 20,000 people, compared to 1 for every 350 people in the UK. To combat the shortage and reduce the strain on hospitals, the main aim for volunteers is to educate locals on preventative measures for some of the biggest killers in the developing world – Malaria and HIV/AIDS.
Meru government hospital was originally designed as a women's health centre but has been forced to expand to cover general health matters. Their resources are stretched, particularly in the maternity unit, where there are over 500 births each month. Maternal mortalities are still a huge problem with 60% of the global cases occurring in sub-Saharan Africa. Volunteers educate women on spotting the early signs of a childbirth that may need medical intervention but also the problems that arise when a woman conceives at a young age or is a geriatric mother.
Olorien community clinic offers affordable healthcare to some of the poorest people in Arusha and the surrounding area, seeing 3,000 people a month. It is only due to the support of volunteers and the donations made to the charity that patients are able to be treated for a very nominal fee.
In South Africa I will be helping with an ongoing wildlife conservation program in Kwantu game reserve situated on the Eastern Cape, spanning more than 6,000 hectares. This includes monitoring the Big 5 - African Lion, African Elephant, Cape Buffalo, African Leopard and White/Black Rhinoceros, which are critically endangered. I will also help with the removal of alien vegetation allowing wild flora and fauna to survive and the replanting of indigenous trees. This conservation program aims to create a safe and suitable environment for these species to thrive not just survive.
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I appreciate how lucky I am to have the time and funding to do it. Your contribution won’t be wasted and will be truly appreciated – Thank you.