Department for International Development
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Volunteering overseas gives young Brits a taste of a new life - International Youth Day 12 August 2009

Volunteering overseas gives young Brits a taste of a new life - International Youth Day 12 August 2009

News Release issued by the COI News Distribution Service on 11 August 2009

Young people in the UK are being given the opportunity to open their world up by volunteering on community projects overseas through a fully funded scheme from the Department for International Development (DFID) called Platform2.

The £10 million three-year scheme raises awareness of global development with young British adults from less advantaged backgrounds who would not be able to afford to volunteer overseas.

Already over 700 young people have worked in developing countries with Platform2. Successful volunteers spend ten weeks living and working at one of several projects, including looking after vulnerable children at the Johannesburg Child Welfare Society in South Africa; helping build a secondary school in Nepal; working on conservation projects in Kenya, or teaching local children at a school in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas.

Mike Foster, Minister for International Development said: “International Youth Day is a great opportunity for DFID to celebrate all the great work that we do with young people. Programmes like Platform2 give young people a great opportunity to gain skills, unlock their potential and contribute positively to their communities. It also benefits the everyday lives of people in developing countries with volunteers giving practical help on the ground such as building toilets and schools.”

Recently-returned volunteer Sarah Owen, who is 23 says: “Whilst in India, I worked on a women’s equality project and formed relationships with young women my age I will never forget. I collected traditional songs from the women I worked with, and have taught them to young people in my own community back here in Devon. They have been fascinated to learn the songs and hear my stories – I think Platform2 is a chance for young people to see the world in a different way and encourage us to have compassion for others from all different walks of life.”

For more information on Platform2, or to apply, visit www.myplatform2.com

ENDS

Notes to Editors

For case studies, interviews, photos or press information contact Amanda Burney, Platform2 Press Officer on 020 7523 2318, or Catherine Belfield-Haines

Notes to editor

Platform2 is a global volunteering experience funded by UKaid from the Department for International Development and run by Christian Aid and BUNAC Platform2 empowers 18-25 year olds in the UK to make a real difference to the lives of those in poor countries, through volunteering abroad and raising awareness of development issues back home. It benefits the individual taking part as it gives these young volunteers the opportunity to use their skills, talents and creativity in the host nation and highlight development issues on their return. Volunteers will spend 10 weeks in one developing country: Ghana, South Africa, India, Nepal, Kenya and Peru at no financial cost to them, as this scheme is funded by the Department for International Development. Find out more about Platform2 at www.myplatform2.com

Contacts:

Catherine Belfield-Haines.
Phone: 020 70231722
c-belfield-haines@dfid.gov.uk

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