While many A-Level students will be chilling out over the summer after a frantic exam period, 18-year-old Ramsey student Meg Walkom will be rolling up her sleeves and heading to Rwanda after being selected to participate in an ethical volunteering programme.
Joining a Quest Overseas adventure, Meg will spend five weeks supporting a project for communities in the capital Kigali. The population in Rwanda was devastated by the genocide that took place in the 1990s and its effects are still being felt today. Meg will work with local youth groups and will be involved in supporting orphaned children who have been living on the streets.
The chance to visit Rwanda was offered via the One World Centre, which organises the sponsorship initiative on behalf of the local charity Karsons Family Foundation.
Having studied World Development at Ramsey Grammar School, Meg says she was keen to get some first hand experience of life in an economically less developed country. “I have learnt a lot about poverty and inequality around the world but particularly in African countries such as Rwanda. I am expecting to gain a lot more knowledge from this trip and I am hoping it will set me on a firm career path helping give other people a chance at a better life."
Rosemary Clarke, Director of the One World Centre, said “Meg’s enthusiasm and passion for improving the lives of others shone through at interview. Given she is considering a career related to international development, this opportunity will be very useful for her to see how aid operates on the ground and to get an insight into life in a much less wealthy country."
“This is the third year that Karsons Family Foundation has sponsored a student from the Isle of Man to take part in an ethical volunteering project. The previous two participants, who both spent time in Malawi, have described their experiences as life-changing and we are thrilled that this opportunity has been extended to another student.”
While the main expenses of the trip are covered by sponsorship, Meg needs to raise £500 towards her insurance and travel off-Island, which she plans to do through a series of raffles, coffee mornings and a Just Giving page. Any additional funds she raises will be used to help the children she will be working with in Rwanda.
Photo - Meg Walkom who has been selected to participate in a volunteer project in Rwanda.