A COOKSTOWN High School student who volunteered in a deprived area of Romania has encouraged other young people to take up the challenge.
Natalie McFall, who visited villages and orphanages on the School Aid Romania trip, said the experience has had a “signinifcant” impact on her and is urging others to make the eye-opening trip.
The Cookstown student travelled with Volunteer Now, the lead organisation for volunteering in Northern Ireland.
The organisation recently produced an informative booklet ‘Steps around the World’ - which offers advice and guidance on overseas volunteering.
Speaking about her experience Natalie said:
“This booklet will be a great tool for anyone thinking of volunteering overseas.
“I had the opportunity, with a group of other students, to take part in School Aid Romania.
“The experience was amazing, yet a complete eye-opener and certain areas had a significant emotional effect on me personally.
“We visited various villages and orphanages and distributed food and supplies.
“I had to truly step out of my comfort zone but it was amazing to see the strong sense of community people had towards each other. “This was a fantastic experience and has had a positive impact on my life. It doesn’t take much to give up some of your time to help others and the benefits gained are endless”
Jane Gribbin NW Regional Manager Volunteer Now added: “When you travel and volunteer abroad you’re keen to give something back and help others but you also want to benefit from the experience.
“Volunteering overseas is a great way to gain a deeper understanding of a country’s culture and people. It enables you to learn skills such as communication and team-working which are necessary in any work environment.”
“This booklet offers information as well as great tips and hints for young people who may choose this volunteering option.”
To find out more about volunteering or to download the booklet go to www.volunteernow.co.uk