ENNISKILLEN-born student, Sarah Crudden, has just returned from five weeks in Bangalore in India.
The 20-year-old travelled over as part of ‘Serve’ a charity that is dedicated to ‘development and volunteering organisation committed to tackling poverty in the majority world’.
“Before going I had no concept of the level of poverty, the sheer numbers of people and generally the difference in standards and culture.
“But what amazed me most was amidst so much poverty there was so much optimism,” explained Sarah.
Each morning, Sarah and others who travelled, worked in a leprosy clinic helping to change dressings and in the afternoon, taught english and science in the school.
In evenings, Sarah and company would go to ‘Don Bosco’s’ shelter for boys, or the ‘Support the HIV’ centre.
“I really enjoyed teaching in the afternoons, particularly when we took some arts and crafts lessons with the younger children.
“It was so hectic because of the numbers in each class but they absolutely loved making a big mess.
“Although I wasn’t based in this project some of the money we raised went towards an orphanage with 85 young boys that was run by just two people.
“They were so grateful to have two of our girls help out for the few weeks we were there and the money we raised can be stretched a long way to improve the facilities they have.”
Sarah is a student in Sheffield university, and studies medicine.
“I would go back to India in a heartbeat,” she continued, “It’s an absolutely wonderful place with amazing people who made us volunteers feel so welcome. Now that I’m back I appreciate most the availability of clean water, the rich variety of food that we have everyday in our homes and our health services.”
She also thanked those who had helped her with fund-raising over the past number of months.
“I did a wide range of fund-raising activities all of which proved very useful including a bag pack at ASDA, raffles and a coffee morning. I was amazed at the generosity and the interest people showed in the project.
“I would also like to thank all of the local businesses who donated money and gifts for our raffles. I had a great fund-raising support team made up of close family and friends, who devoted an awful lot of time to the project.”
To read more.. Subscribe to current edition