Project Trust’s 2015/16 eight month Volunteers come to Coll for their Training course next week. Manon, who will be starting her gap year in Malawi in January, told us about the build-up to starting her overseas volunteering project:

Project Trust Gap Year Ghana

Manon during a trip to Ghana organised through her school

I’m really looking forward to Training because heading overseas is starting to feel more real and I can’t wait to meet my partner and all the other eight month volunteers. I’m really excited after all this build-up to spend time exploring a very different country and lifestyle to the one I grew up in. I’ve been reading Volunteers’ blogs and speaking to people from my Selection Course which has been a great little insight into what I might experience.

Fundraising is entirely possible but you really have to dedicate time to it, especially because you have to balance it with exams. The support from Project Trust has been really great; it has helped me to keep track of my fundraising and the Fundraising Facebook page was great for talking to people in the same boat as you and collecting ideas. There were also meetings which took place across the country for Volunteers and their parents to discuss ideas with Project Trust staff and share fundraising experiences. I found I got a really good response from fundraising locally, involving my community and small businesses in the area. My biggest piece of advice for other Volunteers would be to hold big events – they are a lot of work but get a lot of money raised in one go!

I chose to volunteer for eight months because I was already a part of the Plymouth Ghana Link exchange at my school. I went to Ghana for two weeks and learnt a lot in process which I think will mean I am well-prepared for eight months in Malawi.

I’ve always enjoyed working with young children and am really looking forward to contributing to the education of the kids I work with in Malawi. I also love experiencing new lifestyles and cultures, meeting new people and being put into challenging situations that I can learn from. I know I will learn more from volunteering in Malawi than I would by going straight to university.

Find out more about Project Trust’s Training Courses