My African adventure: More volunteer reflections

Stuart Lucey, 27, studying medicine at Aberdeen University

“It has been enlightening. It has been everything I could possibly have expected from my first time in Africa, and a lot more that I didn’t.

“I have been surprised by the sheer admiration of white people and the respect we are instantly given by everyone. And by how a bunch of extremely differently-minded people can come together as a group and perform something that I believe to be quite strenuous, even for the most physically able.”

Mark Deeks, 28, studying law at Warwick University

“It is jarring sometimes to see quite how the other side live. There is an awful lot of potential in this country that is not being realised, but things are better than they were and there are some quality people here. If we can give just a bit that helps them to reach their potential that’s a good feeling.

“The kids are so captivated by kicking a ball for the first time – this stuff is so day-to-day in the upbringing of an English child.

“I profess to not having known much about this country before I came out here. It has been frustrating at times but for the most part fulfilling.”

Danielle Rushworth, 23, studying oceanography at Liverpool University

“It has been amazing. It has made me appreciate things a lot more and has made me realise how much we take things for granted back at home. I am very sad to be leaving.

“It has been hard physical work, but now that we can see the end of it we are seeing the fruits of our labour.

“I have loved being here with the kids, how happy they are. Everything about it has been amazing – the way it makes you feel, the simple nature of how you live and how happy everyone is every day.”

Joanna Pattison, 23, recently graduated from Leeds University with a degree in Chinese and Japanese

“It has been brilliant to be part of this kind of project. It is really rewarding. I have been on lots of charity fundraising things but I have never had this much involvement. You really feel like you are appreciated and it means something.

“All of the money is going back into the community. It shows how much of a difference small charities can make. This project doesn’t have a massive international impact, but it has such a big impact locally and it means so much to these people.”

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