Blog Article: A World of Difference
Conor Gibson volunteered in Malaysia, 2019/20 in a secondary school around four hours from Kuala Lumpur.
As well as acting as a role-model for students, Conor and his Project Trust Partner Owain taught English (TESOL) to a wide array of students and staff.
To help celebrate the relaunch of the Project Trust Access Fund bursary programme on Volunteer Recognition Day, Conor – a past recipient of the bursary programme, shares part of his story…
Until I volunteered with Project Trust, I had never actually travelled abroad before. The 13-hour flight straight to my placement in Malaysia was my first time on a plane.
The majority of students board, and teachers live, at the school; as did Owain and I. So, the school really is a Volunteer’s community. The cultural differences I observed and lived through were unlike any other I’d experienced. As you can imagine, this greatly enhanced my global view of the world in ways I couldn’t have imagined.
Everything was different at Maktab Rendah Sains MARA (MRSM) Muadzam Shah, from languages, cultural practices, to simply the way people dressed or acted. It has made me more interested in finding out more about the world and what’s out there.
A big part of my life in Malaysia that really made the experience was the many ways we kept busy. From playing sports with the students in the afternoon – be it football, volleyball, athletics, and Sepak Takraw (kick volleyball) – or working with students on their homework every evening, or the drama classes we provided ahead of an inter-school national competition, it was all go.
The Access Fund bursary I was awarded was crucial in helping achieve my fundraising target to allow me to get on the plane to Malaysia in the first place.
I decided on Project Trust after a talk at my school. I was so motivated by how approachable and passionate the speaker was that I decided to find out more, then applied very quickly soon after. Before I knew it, I was travelling to Coll for my Selection Course!
I’d advise applying early because it all happened so fast for me, to be honest. I had quite a short amount of time available to fundraise while at the same time also caring for my disabled sibling. The bursary offered me the chance to pursue my dream while tackling everything in front of me.
The Access Fund really did make the world of difference. Not stressing as much over the total amount I needed to raise was particularly great for me given the timescales and everything else going on in my life.
My time with Project Trust has inspired me and let me see what’s possible. I still intend to go on to train to become a Maths teacher after I finish studying at Leeds University, that hasn’t changed. Though I still have the thought that if all else fails I can always fall back on TESOL!
I would strongly recommend Project Trust to others. Despite the challenges with fundraising, and unfortunately having my time cut short due to Covid, I take a lot from knowing that Owain and I, and the other Volunteers, still had time to make a difference to others’ lives.
I really benefitted from the time the Project Trust team invested in me and the confidence they placed on me so I could rise to, and meet, the challenge.
I can’t recommend Project Trust enough!
Thank you, Conor and Owain for being Project Trust Learning Heroes – inspiring others to challenge themselves, learn about the world, and be a positive force within it.
Read and Find Out More
- Parent Power Helps Access Fund Relaunch – Sarah Presly, mother of Susie Presly, Malawi 2019/20
- Volunteer Recognition Day – Daniel Whitney, South Africa 2018/19
Chat to the team about Access Fund support:
- Contact us
- Use the webchat Monday to Friday 9.00 am – 5.00 pm