17 year old Uzayr Ashraf completed a weeklong volunteering project in the Southern Caparthian Mountains in Romania. Uzayr, who attends Park High School Sixth Form in Stanmore, helped to renovate the living facilities of the nomadic people living in area – a project that was set up by Outlook Expeditions who coordinate educational development projects for young people around the world.
Uzayr arranged various pre-departure fundraising activities including running the Blackpool Marathon and abseiling down the London Olympia Hall!
During his time in Romania, Uzayr was kept busy building in the mornings, where the temperatures are lower, and contributed to the construction of a new washroom facility for the local people. He was involved in the planning stages, laying the foundations, and the construction of the building. He said, “The project has significantly improved the sanitation of the area, helping to keep the streets clean, and giving the local people facilities they haven’t had before.”
Uzayr was involved with several other smaller construction projects which will help to ensure the nomadic people are more comfortable in the winter months. The mountainous region can be particularly difficult in wintery conditions, where residents face long periods of consistent snow.
In the afternoons, temperatures often sailed over forty degrees centigrade which made it difficult to carry on building. Instead, Uzayr and his team of volunteers spent time with the community’s children, teaching them English and engaging them in a series of games and activities which they really enjoyed.
“It sounds cliché, but this experience really changed me as a person! I am normally really shy, but I developed my collaborative and perseverative skills greatly, and working with the children really improved my ability to communicate well. The main thing I took, from a personal perspective, is to simply appreciate what I have.”
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