What a Difference a Year makes…

Project Trust Gap Year Training

Project Trust Volunteers and Staff, Isle of Coll, December 2017

This time last year we were getting ready to welcome the last of our 2017/18 Volunteers on Selection… Fast forward a year and many of those Volunteers are now just settling in to their projects in Cambodia, Ghana, Honduras, India, Namibia, Nepal, Senegal, South Africa and Zambia.

We caught up with a few of our Volunteers who attended Training on Coll just before Christmas and asked them their thoughts on Project Trust’s shorter programme…

Gap Year Selection

Maryam and Katie on Selection, Isle of Coll, April 2017

What were you doing this time last year?

“This time last year I was doing my mock A Level exams – I was totally stressed out and thought I was going to fail. At the time I had just put in my application for Project Trust Selection Course and I was focusing really hard on the application to ensure it showed how much I wanted to be a volunteer.”

Maryam | Volunteer in Cambodia 2017/18

“I was in Sixth Form trying to do my A Levels – trying being the operative word. I didn’t feel like I was doing very well and I felt like I had lost my academic side. I was really struggling to know which direction I was going in – I didn’t know what I wanted to do in the future, I didn’t know if I wanted to go to university – I felt a bit lost.”

Katie | Volunteer in South Africa 2017/18

“I was doing my mocks. The only things on my mind were those exams. I had applied to join the army for a gap year and was looking forward to that. When the army fell through I was left with the possibility of having a fairly empty gap year and was even considering calling up the universities that had given me offers and asking for them to take me a year early, even though I knew I needed a year out. Project Trust seemed to offer the perfect solution. A meaningful experience that I could still get on board with despite how late I was applying.”

Calum | Volunteer in Senegal 2017/18

Gap year Selection Course

Maryam gardening on Selection, Isle of Coll, April 2017

What did you choose the eight month programme?

“Going away for 8 months rather than 12 has allowed me to practice living more independently at home whilst also improving my teaching ability through tutoring and working with children. This has built my confidence in preparation for going away.”

Annabel | Volunteer in South Africa 2017/18

“I wanted the extra time to fundraise so that I didn’t have another burden on top of exams. I also wanted to earn some money to go towards fundraising and so that I would have some spending money when I got out here.”

Amina | Volunteer in Nepal 2017/18

“Originally I wanted to do the 12 month program. I went on Selection in April which was quite late and I realised it meant I didn’t have that long to fundraise. Doing the eight month program gave me a lot longer to get the money together and to prepare myself. I feel a lot more ready to go now – this is probably what I want to do later in life, so I’ve had a lot of time to think about it.”

Katie | Volunteer in South Africa 2017/18

Project Trust Gap Year Training

Katie arriving for Training, Isle of Coll, December 2017

What are your top tips for fundraising in a shorter amount of time?

“The fundraising was a challenge but not in the ways that I had expected it to be. The issue was starting. I wasted a fair amount of time moping around without a plan. My tip would be to tell other people how it is going and crucially be honest with them.”

Calum | Volunteer in Senegal 2017/18

“My top tip for fundraising would be to tell everyone you know about what you are doing – you will be surprised by how many people will be interested and may even have a connection with your chosen country! You can acquire more contacts through your grandparents and through organisations such as your school. You also don’t necessarily need to worry about trying to fit in marathon cycle rides or 24 hour triathlons as I often found that the project sold itself more effectively!”

Annabel | Volunteer in South Africa 2017/18

Gap Year Training

Eleanor, Katie and Joe on Training, Isle of Coll, December 2017

What are you the most excited about in the next eight months?

“I am very excited to finally be at my project, teach my first lesson and meet the host and others in the community. Right now we are still in Kathmandu, so I am still very curious about my project and everything in the village.”

Meike | Volunteer in Nepal 2017/18

“I think the thing I’m most looking forward to in these eight months is building a relationship with the students. I have already noticed how eager and engaged they are to learn so I’m curious to see how far we can go as a teacher and student.”

Maryam | Volunteer in Cambodia 2017/18

“One of the things I am most excited about for the next eight months is learning Nepali and getting to know the country and its people as someone who is living and working here, instead of just travelling around as a tourist.”

Jeremy | Volunteer in Nepal 2017/18

“I’m really excited to see the change in myself and meet the kids I’m going to be working with, and to feel and experience the different things I’m going to come across. I’m excited to see if I’ll be more confident and independent.”

Katie | Volunteer in South Africa 2017/18

Gap Year departure

Katie, Charlotte and Mary, departing for South Africa, January 2018

What would you say to anyone who was thinking about booking onto our February Selection courses?

“If you are at all interested in what Project Trust offers, book onto a selection course to find out more! Even if you decide that a year overseas is not for you, you will spend a hugely inspiring week in a beautiful place with like-minded people. It is a week you will not forget!”

Annabel | Volunteer in South Africa 2017/18

“The selection course I went on was an amazing experience. Going somewhere as isolated as Coll and not knowing anyone seems strange at first, yet the week is such a rewarding experience, and the other people on Selection soon feel like old friends.”

Jeremy | Volunteer in Nepal 2017/18

“I would say do it. If you’re not sure – go for it. Even if you don’t end up going (overseas), Selection is such a fun week and it’s really challenging and you learn new things about yourself and that you have more strengths than you thought. I just loved Selection so much, it was so much fun. It was hard but it was so worth it – get rid of any fears and just go for it.”

Katie | Volunteer in South Africa 2017/18

Where are you going to be in January 2019? If you would like the opportunity to challenge yourself, learn about the world and be a positive force within it, we can help.

Project Trust has just three more Selection Courses left for 2018 school leavers. Book now to start your Volunteer Journey…

Tuesday 13th – Saturday 17th February 2018 LAST FEW SPACES!
BOOK NOW
Tuesday 20th – Saturday 24th February 2018 LAST FEW SPACES!
BOOK NOW
Monday 2nd – Friday 6th April 2018
BOOK NOW