Student urges people to save planet instead of holiday
10:52am Thursday 31st October 2013 in News
A STUDENT is encouraging young people to swap their summer holiday next year for a trip of a lifetime to help make a lasting difference to the future of the planet.
Former Canon Slade pupil Meg Kneafsey, aged 19, is now studying at Durham University after a trip to Nicaragua, where she spent 10 weeks volunteering as part of the government’s International Citizen Service programme.
She worked on a number of projects aimed at promoting sustainability, and is encouraging those aged 18 to 25, many of whom are now making decisions what to do next year to do the same.
The Deane student said: “I worked on watershed manage-ment, including reforestation, ecolatrines and eco-ovens and barriers.
“All this work was done with the community including a youth group set up by a previous ICS group.”
Meg also taught English. She said: “I did National Citizen Service at the end of Year 11, and saw that it was linked to ICS. ICS stood out to me because of its sustainability.
“For example, the project I was working on is part of a larger two-year project. There is also a concerted effort to work with people in the country and we worked with the Charity Anides which is based in Matagalpa, and half our group was made up of Nicaragua ICS volunteers.”
Meg raised £800 to fund her trip.
She said: “I lived with a family while out there who I truly see as my family now.
“Through working in two different languages, English and Spanish, I learned the importance of communication and patience.”
Meg added: “I was nervous because I had not been away from my family for that amount of time, but I settled in so quickly because the people are so welcoming and it genuinely was the best experience of my life. I believe that more people should have the chance to go on projects such as this.”
For more information visit volunteerics.org.
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