In Spring 2014, 23 year old Grace Mowatt of Lukes Avenue, Ilford, completed International Citizen Service in Nicaragua with development charity, Raleigh International.
Before embarking on the venture, she managed to fundraise over £800 to contribute towards the work that Raleigh do and enable them to continue to bring about positive change in developing communities around the world. Grace organised cake sales, survived on £1 a day for 5 days and even went carol singing to reach her target! She was also supported on her venture by a £300 volunteering grant from the Jack Petchey Foundation.
Based in Ojo de Agua, Grace helped to develop a Natural Resource Management programme which tackled issues such as water sanitation, deforestation and waste management. Grace and her team conducted a number of surveys to discover which issues were harming the community the most. At the end of the project her group had created 5,000 tree nurseries and built eco-latrines and eco-ovens for each of the 80 families in the community. Grace also devised an educational programme for younger people in the community which discussed a range of issues including environmental problems, equality, family and education.
On returning to the UK, Grace said “I have developed a range of skills as a result of the project, while I have more confidence in my opinions and ideas. I am happy to have been a part of a project that has made a real difference in many ways.”
After completing the project Grace was nominated and named as the July winnner of the Redbridge Young Citizen Award.
Grants Officer for the Jack Petchey Foundation Katie Purcell said, “Grace is deserving of the award as she went out of her comfort zone to help a community in an underprivileged part of the world. Jack Petchey wants young people to know that in giving, you also receive and the world is a better place for it. Grace has shown this first hand in her completion of International Citizen Service and I am sure the experience will help her tremendously in the future.”
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