Not a vacation, but an amazing adventure awaits UBC student volunteers
There won’t be any drinks with little umbrellas served at a beachside cabana, but there will be a chance to make a real difference in the lives of many people.
The opportunity to reach beyond the borders of one’s everyday existence and help others in a developing nation is being offered to students on the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus.
Michelle Lowton, associate director, student development and advising and Get Involved Program leader Leah Donatiello are looking for up to 13 students willing to step away from urban life and into a small village in Peru where they will endeavor to make a permanent difference in the villager’s lives.
“It’s not a typical tourist spot at all,” says Donatiello of the town of Lobitos, 90 minutes by air north of Lima. “It’s a real working village.”
Students will be working with the WAVE Foundation (wavesfordevelopment.org), a non-governmental organization (NGO) which has been working in the field of education, sustainability and adventure in the ocean-side village.
“I think the experience will be a real eye opener because Peru is a developing country,” says Lowton. “There are so many areas you can volunteer.”
Lowton also heads up the Get Involved program which encourages students to volunteer around campus and the Okanagan. She said there are many Okanagan students who want to volunteer in a foreign land, but are not able to do so for an extended period of time as some trips require.
This trip would take place during Reading Week, Feb. 18-24, 2012, and will give participants a unique look at a different culture while providing them with an opportunity to help others help themselves.
Donatiello says WAVES will provide an area where help is needed and the Okanagan volunteers will be able to apply their own skills to that area.
“This is all new for UBC Okanagan – to co-ordinate student volunteerism in a developing country,” said Lowton, adding there is potential for the program to grow and for students to continue to volunteer around the globe.
Those interested must apply and be interviewed to ensure they are a good fit for the program.
For more information send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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