28 August 2015

Image of Kind-Hearted Student Spends Summer Volunteering in Uganda

Elizabeth Pennington, a student who recently completed her studies at The Sixth Form College, took part in a 4-week volunteering project over the summer in Mutungo, Uganda with International Volunteer HQ.

Elizabeth, who joined the College from Hilbre High School, has had ambitions of volunteering abroad for many years and has been planning her inspirational trip since 2013. The trip is the first time Elizabeth travelled abroad alone – a journey which took more than 12 hours in total. Once she arrived she was met by International Volunteer HQ staff members who took her to the Village, Mutungo – a small rural part of Uganda about an hour outside of the capital, Kampala.

Elizabeth, who is also an ambassador for the teen suicide charity PAPYRUS, commented, “It was a big challenge to travel so far by myself – I was really nervous but as soon as I saw Uganda I immediately fell in love with it. The staff and the other volunteers where all so friendly too – I have met lots of people from all over the world which was brilliant.”

The kind-hearted 18 year old took part in several teaching projects whilst in the village including a HIV Awareness project where she would take part in classes aimed at the local women. In her free time, Elizabeth would help painting and building in the village and had the opportunity to go on Safari’s and take trips to the Capital, Kampala.

“The children in the village really amazed me – I know it sounds cliché but they have absolutely nothing and give everything. There were lots of emotional moments but I learnt a lot about myself in those times. It was an incredible experience.”

Elizabeth also talked of experiencing reverse culture shock when she returned, “It really hit me hard when I came home as you start comparing what you have available to you and what they have, which is essentially nothing. I wasn’t expecting it to have such an impact on me after just one month but it makes you realise how incredibly lucky we are.”

Elizabeth, who recently completed her A Levels and received B grade’s in Film Studies and Drama & Theatre Studies and a C in English Language, is planning to start University at Sheffield Hallam this September to study Performance for Stage, Screen and Radio. She also plans to continue her volunteering work in the future, “I definitely want to continue volunteering – it is such a worthwhile experience. I’d like to go to Bolivia next year for 3 months with the Christian charity Tearfund ICS or possibly Nepal.”

Liz Pennington - Uganda

Tags: Volunteer Enrichment Travel Drama & Theatre Studies Elizabeth Pennington

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