Livingstone Volunteers 2016

 

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We visited Lunzu Secondary School for six days, where we built benches together and took part in an educational programme which has now resulted in a great partnership between the two schools to last a long time. I loved getting to know the pupils and sharing information about our culture and learning about theirs. Overall my experience in Malawi was the best experience of my life and I would go back again in a heartbeat! The grant is extremely appreciated and it really helped me achieve the goal of going to Malawi.

Lauren O’Neill, Glasgow, volunteered in Malawi

 

The Livingstone Volunteers 2016 was the third year of our scheme, which aimed to support young people in Scotland who might not otherwise have the opportunity to volunteer in Southern Africa. We aimed to consolidate the scheme and make sure that young people from across Scotland were aware of and able to apply for a grant. As a result, 2016 saw the highest number of eligible applications received. The independent judging panel had the difficult decision of awarding these grants, and eventually awarded 32 young people from across Scotland the full £500 grants. This was the largest number of full grants given to a cohort of volunteers to date. Successful applicants came from across Scotland, from Glasgow, Clydebank, Fife, Stirling and Aberdeenshire. The majority of the volunteers had secured placements with charities and organisation in Malawi, but volunteers also travelled to Tanzania.

 

As in previous years, the McConnell International Foundation held an awards ceremony for the 2016 grant recipients in March of this year. It was an inspiring event, with the young people being able to meet the Trustees of the Foundation, the judges of the scheme and, most importantly, the other grant recipients, including recipients from previous years. We also had the pleasure of hosting Elspeth Murdoch, relative of Dr David Livingstone, who presented some of the awards.

 

A significant aim of the Livingstone Volunteers is the building of a network of LV Alumni, who share their experiences of volunteering and give advice to those hoping to do the same. The experiences of the Livingstone Volunteers 2016 are adding to this network and record.

 

[Malawi] was one of the most amazing experiences of my life and opened my eyes to the world around me. I am so grateful…to the McConnell International Foundation for helping me along the way. Leaving was so hard as I had come so far and grown as a person as well as learning so much. I would love to return to Malawi in the future.

Rae McGreevy, from Knightswood Secondary School, volunteered in Malawi

 

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The scheme could not be run without the continued commitment of our donors and supporters. The McConnell International Foundation thanks The Hunter Foundation, MCR Holdings, Dr Rose Mary Harley, and Ian McClelland for their donations and support. In 2017, we were very grateful to the Mary Leishman Foundation for their support in identifying and funding more young people to apply for and take part in the scheme. The Scottish Government played a significant role in match funding our donations for the 2016 scheme, allowing donations to go further and more full grants than ever before to be awarded. Thanks also to David Moulsdale and the staff at 200 SVS, for once again allowing us to host the awards ceremony in their atmospheric and well-managed venue. A special thanks goes to our independent judges, Iain MacRitchie, Susan Dalgety and Helen Keenan and to the MIF Trustees for their support. The scheme highly values the continued support of David Hope Jones and Charlie Bevan from the Scotland Malawi Partnership, and promotional help from Young Scot and NIDOS. The McConnell International Foundation also gives thanks to Grace Brown and Olivia Ash Ranger for their work to make it all happen.

 

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