Originally Published 24 August 2004
Ruth Grearson 23, from Coventry, is ready to help change lives for the better when she embarks on six months work for the charity organisation Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO).
As from October 2004 Ruth will be representing Coventry as part of a team of 17-25 year olds from across the UK who are taking part in the VSO’s World Youth Exchange, where they will live and work side-by-side with young volunteers from Nigeria. Along with her fellow Nigerian- and UK-based volunteers Ruth will work on community projects in both the UK and Nigeria. Initially the team will spend 3 months working in Akure, Nigeria after which time they will travel back to the UK to work in Hounslow, London for a further 3 months.
Whilst working in Nigeria and London the volunteers will take part in a range of projects which will involve helping with issues such as drug rehabilitation, caring for the elderly, construction work and HIV/AIDs awareness. During their volunteering period the youngsters will live with local families. It is hoped that in doing this work the volunteers will not only learn how to help others but will also gain a better understanding of the differences that exist between living in the UK and Nigeria.A recent graduate of Cambridge, currently working at the University of Warwick within the Communications Office, Ruth has held a lifelong ambition to do volunteer work overseas and says:
"After I finished my Master’s degree I knew there was so much more to experience in the world. What is great about VSO’s World Youth Exchange is that it gives young people the chance to make a difference not only in the UK but in developing countries as well. I am really looking forward to living and working in Nigeria and being able to make a positive impact on the lives of the people who live there. I am so excited that I have been teaching myself to speak the local language, Yoruba. So far I can only say ‘Hi’, I know it’s not much but it’s a friendly start".
Before leaving for Nigeria in October Ruth would like to raise £600 for VSO and is therefore seeking sponsorship from local companies, organisations, and individuals. In a bid to help her achieve her target of £600 Ruth has had some of her drawings of Nigerian women and children made into cards and A3 sized prints and is currently selling them for £1 and £20 each respectively. Ruth, a budding artist, will be taking her sketch pad and pencil with her to Nigeria and hopes to find some time to put together sketches to illustrate life in Nigeria.
If you would like to help Ruth raise funds for the VSO by providing sponsorship or by purchasing a card or print, she would be very happy to hear from you.
Please contact: Ruth Grearson by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org