Youth & Under 30s - Profiles

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Name: Jennifer Lynam
Age: 19
Jennifer Lynam
What inspired you to get involved?
I was a member of the Fermanagh Youth Council and was fortunate enough to be chosen to travel to Nicaragua in 2009. The volunteer work included encouraging a better quality of life for the young people by promoting a healthier life style, working with children who were victims of domestic violence and encouraging them to improve their education. From this trip I became very passionate about volunteering in less developed countries and as a result I took a year out of my studies and volunteered in Kenya for 4+ months.
What does your volunteering involve?
From my previous experiences volunteering in third world countries I have done various types of work such as working in slums, building necessary facilities eg. Toilets and classrooms. I also helped in teaching and worked in orphanages.
What skills or qualities are required for your volunteering role?
Initiative and determination are key skills to have. I also think you must be open minded and not easily upset.
What do you enjoy most about volunteering and what has been your highlight?
My highlight from my volunteering experiences would be when I was in Kenya. Myself and a local friend went for a picnic in the country side. We stopped by an old railway track to tuck into our peanuts, bread and water. Some children had spotted us and came over. We shared the little we had with the children and gave them money to buy some sweets. They returned with the sweets and we distributed them evenly. Word must have spread fast in this little village because before long a crowd of over 70 hungry children and their parents arrived. We left, bought as many loaves and water as we could, returned and shared it with everyone. We sat with the group talking about their lives and struggles they have every day living in poverty. It was a very nice feeling being able to help out, even if it was just bread and water.
Why would you encourage others to become a Millennium Volunteer and what advice would you give them?
I would defiantly encourage everyone to volunteer. It is such a rewarding experience and you learn so much. Through volunteering I have made amazing friends and met many amazing people, whom I will never forget.