Department for International Development
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Former jobless young person turns his life around thanks to global volunteering scheme Platform2

One Platform2 volunteer’s time on his 10 week trip to South Africa has given him the chance to start his own business.

Returned volunteer Matthew Webb, 21, from Tamworth, says:

Before I went to South Africa with Platform2 I had left school and been unemployed for a while – it was really starting to get me down. Spending 10 weeks in a poor community near Cape Town really opened my eyes – I saw how people with so little still had drive and ambition, and the people there really inspired me.

When I came back to the UK I felt motivated and had a lot more confidence – my cousin and I started a grocery business and five months on it’s going from strength to strength. I’d encourage any young people finding it hard to get jobs to take a chance and volunteer with Platform2. Ten weeks will cost you nothing – and may turn your life around.’

Platform2 is a fully funded global volunteering experience for 18-25 year olds who would not normally be able to afford this kind of opportunity. The scheme is funded by UKaid from the Department for International Development and run by Christian Aid and BUNAC.

250 places have now been opened for departures leaving in March 2010. Volunteers who are accepted on the programme work for 10 weeks on projects in Ghana, India, Nepal, Kenya, South Africa and Peru in community projects, building schools, toilets, community centres or teaching English. On their return they raise awareness of global issues in their local community. Over 700 people have been on the programme so far.

You can apply online or download the application from or call to chat (0800 988 6828). Completed applications for March 2010 trips need to be received by 30 November.

Notes to editors

  1. 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. 
  2. Volunteers will spend 10 weeks in developing countries such as Ghana, South Africa and Peru at no financial cost to them, as this scheme is funded by UKaid from the Department for International Development.
  3. Platform2 is a global volunteering experience from UKaid from the Department for International Development and run by Christian Aid.

For more information contact Amanda Burney at Christian Aid on 020 7523 2318 or email
out more about Platform2 at

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