Scottish Charity Number: SCO36069

3rd July 2013

Rosie Dowell: Initial report

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In June 2011, I attended a selection course on the remote Hebridean Isle of Coll for a charity called Project Trust. Project Trust send about 300 17-19 year olds oversees each year, to teaching or social care projects in over 20 countries. I had always been aware of the charity and from a young age knew I really wanted the opportunity to travel somewhere remote and work and live in a community very different from the one I have grown up in, in Perth, Scotland.

The week I spent on Coll for selection was one of the best week Ive ever had! Everyone there was like minded and up for anything and everything that the staff would throw at us. Throughout the week, we climbed the highest hill on the island(not very high!), dug lazy beds, learned about all the incredible countries and projects which project work with and even had to plan and teach a lesson of our owny!

After selection, there was a tense week of waiting before I received a letter saying that I had been selected to be a volunteer in Uganda for a year, leaving in September 2013. When I opened the letter, I felt such a mix of emotions! Of course I was overjoyed at being selected and excited about the idea of leaving home, travelling to exotic places and trying my hand at a bit of teaching. However, there was a few nerves… would I be able to raise the £5,400 that I needed to? What would it be like living so far away from home? Would I be able to teach yound kids whose first language is Lugandan(a language Im not very familiar with) and not english?

Whatever reservations I had, I stuck straight into fundraising, a very intimidating task for a full time student who has no previous fundraising experience! After some to and froeing with ideas and a long day at the library with the directory of charitable trusts, I was set. To raise money, I wrote to charitable trusts, sold wrist bands to my friends, hosted a few elaborate dinner parties with authentic Ugandan food and got sponsored to run 5km in mud and slush!

Thankfully, after 9 months of having to say No sorry, I dont know exactly what Im doing yet.. just teaching, in Uganda. Thats it really. I was finally told a wee bit more about my project. I now know that I will be going to a small, very remote village in the Masaka district called Kiwangala. I will be teaching in a combined primary and secondary school called Childrens Sure House, which educates about 800 Ugandan children who have all been badly effected by HIV and AIDS. I will be living and working with 3 other Project Trust volunteers in very basic accommodation, something which I am genuinely excited about!

Now Ive finished school, between organising vaccinations, disclosures and visas, in my free moments, I get an amazing sense of anticipation when I think that now it is less than 3 months until I get on a plane in Heathrow and leave for what I really think will be an amazing year, spent with amazing people!

I would also like to thank everyone who has helped me fundraise my money and supported me, it has been so humbling that so many people are willing to listen to me babble on about my plans and some are even willing to donate. Thank you everyone who has helped in anyway, I will make every penny count!

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