On 8th January 2015, Sarah Bradford, a local Scout leader, will head off the with VSO team to start a 3 month home host programme in the Philippines. Working with Deaf and Disabled children she will be paired with a local young person and will live with them and their family for the duration of her stay.
Sarah is no stranger to working abroad; in 2011 Sarah went with a group from Hertfordshire to work on Scout camps and HIV/Aids centres in South Africa. During this trip she visited the town of Newcastle and carried with her a token from her home town which she presented to the local Mayor.
Earlier in 2014 Sarah went once again to South Africa with the team from Hertfordshire – the only member of the team from outside their District! As an adult member of the leadership team this time Sarah helped with the management of the young people as well as the activities during their stay including fencing and painting at orphanages.
On her return she heard about the International Citizenship Service (ICS.) This is a government backed programme for 18-25 year olds and offers them the chance to go abroad and learn new skills and well as sharing their existing ones.
The ICS work with a range of voluntary sector organisations – Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) being one of them. It was felt that Sarah fitted with VSO well and she was accepted onto the programme for January 2015.
The programme is fully funded, however a contribution to the scheme of £800 was needed and Sarah’s just giving page has already reached that target due to her hard work and generous friends and family
Sarah says that “this is a fantastic chance to go abroad and see the world, to make a difference in people lives and to bring new skills and experiences back to the UK. I am really looking forward to the trip, but I am also a little anxious about what it will be like when I get there and who I will be living with”
Part of the programme is to share her experience with others and to encourage others aged 18-25 years to apply for a place. “You might think that you don’t stand a chance getting a place, but I would just say go for it… you never know what might happen. I would never have believed that I would be heading off to the Philippines!”
If you want to contribute to the work Sarah will be doing her just giving page can be found here.
Information on ICS can be found here.