Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Volunteering is in my mind a win/win situation. By helping someone who is in need, you are potentially changing their life either helping them or enlightening them on something that they have never experienced before. On the other hand, as a volunteer the experience is very rewarding and can provide unique opportunities to develop new skills.
RISE Global Volunteers is a charity, set up in Norfolk, that is working to create volunteering experiences. Before reaching charity status, RISE, which was set up by Cherry Crowley, had already been working with a selection of Norfolk schools, whereby young people were able to go to Kenya and volunteer in the Jericho Primary Schools in Nairobi.
I was one of the young people who was lucky enough to go to Nairobi two years ago and it was by far the best experience of my life. Teaching the children changed me as a person and it was incredible to watch Project Porridge, which is a scheme that helps to provide every child in the Jericho schools with porridge in the mornings, put into practice.
Ciara Simpson, a student who participated on the same trip to Kenya, said: “It was incredible to experience a culture which is unlike anything in this country.” She added that her “perspective on life was altered drastically”.
As the charity is developing, new opportunities are expected to emerge as RISE hopes to create new links, potentially opportunities that are closer to home.
I would strongly recommend volunteering to any young people who are looking to develop new skills and take themselves out of their comfort zones, whether that be through a charity such as RISE, or organisations such as the National Citizenship Service. It is truly life changing.
To find out more about RISE, NCS and other volunteering opportunities in Norfolk visit
Annie Baldwin, 16, Acle High School