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Thinking of Volunteering Abroad?

Government calls British youngsters to experience life in a developing country for 10 weeks!

The Government are giving British youngsters the chance to broaden their horizons by spending 10 weeks volunteering in a developing country – completely free of charge.

Aimed at young people from less advantaged backgrounds who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford a ‘gap year’ trip, Platform2 is a global development scheme created for those under-25s who will be particularly struggling to find work in the current economic climate.

The 10 million three-year scheme, funded by UKaid from the Department for International Development, has places for 2,500 young people aged 18-25 to experience development work in countries including South Africa, Ghana, Peru, India and Kenya. Youngsters accepted onto the scheme will spend 10 weeks immersed in the culture of a developing country, living and working in the local communities. Projects include working at an orphanage in Johannesburg, teaching at a school in India and building a school in Peru.

Recent returnee from Torquay, Sarah Owen, says of her experience teaching young girls in India: ‘Working with young women in the foothills of the Himalayas is an experience I will never forget. Although our lives were so different, we formed strong bonds over the ten weeks and by the time we left we had changed each other’s lives forever. Since coming back to Devon I have been teaching Indian songs to the local people in my community and sharing stories with my friends and family here. It is a chance of a lifetime that anyone should go for if they can.’

Mike Foster, Minister for International Development said: ‘The global recession has hit young people hard, and it is vitally important that we offer them opportunities such as Platform2. The programme benefits the everyday lives of people in developing countries through practical solutions such as building toilets and schools. It also benefits the UK through the young people gaining skills, and unlocking the potential within them to contribute positively to their communities.’

For more information on Platform2, or to apply, visit www.myplatform2.com

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