Livingstone Volunteers 2014



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“The McConnell International Foundation said they hoped my time as a Livingstone Volunteer would change my life, I would learn new ideas, meet people I would never forget and hopefully understand the world a bit better. Well I have achieved all of this and more and I hope that many, many more Livingstone Volunteers in future will have the same experience. Zi komo.” Kaitlin Mayne, Dundee University

Forty young Scots took part in the inaugural year of the Livingstone Volunteers scheme in 2014, four times the original number intended.

The scheme was established by the McConnell International Foundation to support the fundraising efforts of young Scots who had the chance to volunteer in one of the African countries with a connection with Dr David Livingstone – Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania and South Africa.

Priority was given to those applicants who were unable to meet the full cost of their opportunity because of their personal or family circumstances and a grants panel was established comprising of Lord McConnell, Scottish philanthropist and entrepreneur, Iain MacRitchie and Helen Keenan, Head of Volunteering, the Prince’s Trust Scotland.

The original scheme intended to award 10 grants of £500 each. However, as there were more than 40 applicants, the grants panel recommended to the Foundation trustees to give an award to all eligible applicants to mark year one of the programme.

“For me, David Livingstone stood for understanding others and ourselves and so I am delighted by the success of the first year of the Livingstone Volunteers, both by the number of people who applied, and by the potential for the future.” Lord McConnell, Chairperson of McConnell International Foundation

Twelve people received the full grant of £500 with the remainder receiving grants of £300 or £100 each. The grants were announced at an event in Glasgow on 15th March, which was attended by Humza Yousaf MSP, the Minister for External Affairs as well as Isabel Murdoch, Dr Livingstone’s great, great grand-daughter and her mother,

 

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The 2014 Livingstone Volunteers came from a wide range of organisations including Glasgow’s Springburn Academy, which is twinned with Chichiri Primary School in Malawi. The Foundation was able to support all nine students who took travelled to Malawi in June, where renovated two classrooms as well as took part in lessons with the children.

Six volunteers for First Aid Africa received grants to teach people basic first aid skills in remote rural areas in Malawi, Tanzania and South Africa.

And two Livingstone Volunteers from the Carluke Joint Churches Group spent three weeks in the Open Arms Orphanage in Blantyre, Malawi, which is home to children orphaned by HIV/AIDS.

“Simple first aid measures can make the difference between life and death. But it had the wider aim of improving community resilience by spreading the word of first aid to far more in the community, therefore improving their ability to deal with any eventuality. The support the McConnell International Foundation gave me was invaluable to ensuring the success of this important work.” Neil Ramsay, First Aid Africa

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The Livingstone Volunteers 2014 was made possible by the generosity of a range of individuals and organisations.

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