ICS Volunteer Emily Keal (pictured right) chatted to BBC Radio York presenter Jonathan Cowap before she left to volunteer for Togo YMCA.
18 year-old Emily will be heading to the capital Lomé on Monday 26 January to help the YMCA support young people living in slums who are at risk of crime or criminal activity and to try and improve the Togolese youth justice system. She will also help give young people training to educate each other on health issues, such as HIV.
Joining nine other volunteers to work with in-county volunteers at the YMCA, Emily discussed how she wanted to do something positive during her gap year while studying and why she chose to volunteer for Togo YMCA to gain the skills for a career in International Development.
“The YMCA has been in Lomé for 40 years,” said Emily, “That’s why I really wanted to go with the YMCA. It’s not an organisation that throws money at something and thinks it’s going to get better. They work with Togolese people, I‘m going to work with a Togolese volunteer in-country and the work will continue when we’ve left.”
BBC Radio York presenter, Jonathan Cowan, went to on to ask her about her ‘Action at Home’ activities after her placement.
“Part of the ICS programme is Active Citizenship. building over 14,000 young people to be part of communities, take our work we’ve done abroad, and taking it back home and get more people involved. So I’m going to do loads of talks at my Rotary Club, and hopefully some scouts, cadets and some schools…”
Jonathan replied “So actually going to Togo is only the tip of the iceberg!” and has already invited her back to talk on the show after her placement to help with her ‘Action at Home’!
After the show Jonathan Cowan tweeted: Thanks to Emily Keal from Norton for joining us @BBCYork before heading to Togo with @ICS_UK Good Luck!
You don’t need case or qualifications to apply for the International Citizen Service, just the appetite to make a difference. Discover the world, learn new skills and help fight poverty: www.ycareinternational.org/ics