Watton student hopes trip to West Africa will have lasting impact on those she meets and herself

Charlotte Burton, from Watton, will be volunteering in Togo for three months. Picture: Charlotte Bu

Charlotte Burton, from Watton, will be volunteering in Togo for three months. Picture: Charlotte Burton - Credit: Archant

A student from Watton is preparing to spend three months volunteering in West Africa in the hope she can make a positive impact in people's lives.

Charlotte Burton is currently in her second year of studying Social Anthropology and Sociology at the University of Manchester and it is this degree which inspired her to help others.

She will be volunteering with Y Care International - a youth-driven organisation, part of the YMCA, which helps vulnerable young people free themselves from poverty and builds skills - in Togo.

The 20-year-old said: 'I have always had an interest in social problems and inequalities both close by and on a more global scale.

'I think it so important to make a difference and raise awareness of these issues because I don't think people are as aware of them. The course that I study has made me more aware.'

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The student,who went to Notre Dame High School, Norwich, will be living with a host family and will work with Togolese volunteers as part of the British government funded International Citizen Service (ICS).

Miss Burton will be helping with projects in communities, raising awareness of health and illnesses and helping with education in schools.

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She said: 'I am really excited. I think it will definitely be a challenge but it will be so valuable. I hope to make some sort of impact.

'I am hoping I gain more of a sense of what the problems are because I have got an idea but to experience them first hand will be so valuable.'

Miss Burton will leave for Togo in June and will return in September.

To show her commitment to the project, she must raise £800 before she leaves. This will not be used to fund her placement but will go to the charity.

She will be running a 10km race and will also live below the line - spend a week living on only £1 a day to see what it means to live in poverty - to raise the money.

Upon her return, Miss Burton will have to undertake an 'Action at Home' project to ensure the skills she has learnt can benefit her local community.

Miss Burton said she hopes to volunteer with her local YMCA and use her new skills to raise awareness.

To sponsor Miss Burton click here

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