Dagenham teen fundraising to support her volunteer work in Zambia
PUBLISHED: 07:00 08 May 2019 | UPDATED: 07:51 08 May 2019
A Dagenham teenager is preparing to spend three months volunteering in Africa to help improve the lives of people living in poverty.
Similoluwa Ojajuni, 18, will travel to Zambia next month with international development charity Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), as part of the government-funded International Citizen Service (ICS).
Similoluwa will work with young volunteers from Zambia and the UK on a sexual health and reproductive rights and employability project.
She will live with a host family to become part of the community and gain a better understanding of the challenges people there face.
"I am looking forward to experiencing the culture in Zambia; the heat, the food and the connection I will be making with the people I will meet there," Similoluwa said.
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"I want to have a positive impact on the youth I will be helping to gain employability skills.
"I also cannot wait to see a shift or some change in the way sexual reproductive health is discussed in the community."
Similoluwa needs to raise £800 for VSO before she leaves, which will ensure communities in developing countries continue to benefit from the work of future volunteers.
She has set up a JustGiving page (www.justgiving.com/fundraising/simi-ojajuni1) for online donations.
On return to the UK, all ICS volunteers undertake an Action at Home project, ensuring their new skills also benefit their own communities.
More than 15,000 young people from the UK have participated on the programme since 2011.