Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Voices from the South- Summer 2003

In 2002, Concordia introduced a North/South bursary scheme. This was set up to provide funding and support for volunteers from the South to participate in our projects in the UK. This year we hosted two volunteers...Peter Kanyi from Kenya and Akofa Abotsi from Togo. Below are extracts from the reports they wrote about their experiences.

I reported at Brunts Barn on Monday 2nd and met the other volunteers I was to work with in my project. Immediately after unpacking, Peter and Abi the project co-ordinators invited us out for ice-breakers and name-games. The outcome of the games was so much promising since we bound together from that very first day. Due to long journeys everybody was tired and we slept early.

In the morning after breakfast we were introduced to Dave the ranger who offered to take us round the Peak Park and show us where we would be working. We saw the broken road created by one of the biggest earthquakes to ever happen in the UK. We also walked through sheep farms and through very beautiful public parks. On Wednesday we settled down to our work. It was mainly to do with dry stone wall repairs and construction of an overflow path of an old reservoir. On the last days we were involved in tree felling in some parts of the forests to create sunshine penetration to enhance heather growth. The work brought the group much more together since we all relied on one another in one way or the other.

We would work for two consecutive days and the third day was a free day. We used our free day in creative leisure activities. We had visits to local villages, had drinks from the local pub and had a trip to Mam Tor, the highest hill in the Peak District.

The project co-ordinators were very helpful and available to us. They gave us opportunities to decide for ourselves what we would like to do for our leisure activities and this was nice since we democratically came up to a happy suggestion.

I personally enjoyed the project in general, work, group, co-ordinators and activities we were involved in. Its something that has contributed highly to my personal growth and voluntary spirit. I pray that Concordia can be able to offer many more similar opportunities to more volunteers as it enhances interhuman and international understanding.

Peter Kanyi, Kenya

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