My name is Torin Price and I am currently a 6th form student at Balfron High School.
Come summer next year that is going to change in quite a dramatic way for me. After a 5-day selection course on the Isle of Coll I’m pleased to say that, as part of a volunteering programme with Project Trust, I will be spending a year in the Solomon Islands!
I’ll be sent with just one other person from the UK and I will be teaching English to secondary school students whilst immersing myself in the local community – helping in whatever way I can. Although I don’t know exactly where I will be posted, I’m told it will be a rural setting. I and my partner will live within that rural community for a full 12 months.
Project Trust itself is a charity that specializes in sending school leavers away for a year to help communities in less developed nations. They send pairs of volunteers to 21 different countries around the globe for 12-month periods. They primarily focus on sending people to teach in primary and secondary schools, although they can also offer opportunities in social care and outward bound.
The organization started in 1967 and is now reaching its 50th year of operation. In these 50 years the Trust has sent over 7,000 volunteers abroad to South America, Africa, Asia and now Oceania. They are one of the most respected gap year organizations in the UK, offering a once in a lifetime opportunity for school leavers to immerse themselves in a completely different lifestyle, culture and community to what they’re used to.
The Solomon Islands lie in the southern Pacific Ocean, just east of Papua New Guinea. The small nation has a population of 599,000, only a thousand people more than Glasgow! There are 6 main islands and over 900 smaller ones. The country is hugely diverse with 70 local dialects spoken. Even though the official language is English, only 2% of the population actually speaks it.
The economy is very poor with its gross domestic product (GDP) per person similar to many African countries, which makes it fall under the classification of underdeveloped. As a result, many basic facilities lacks funding for maintenance or even staffing, including schools. This means that the country often has to rely on foreign aid to support the education system, which is where I come in.
To do this I’m required to contribute to the funding. For me to travel to the Solomon Islands, cover living costs and insurance, and not put any of the expense upon the community, I need to raise just over £6,000.
So, over the next 8 months I will be wearing myself thin fundraising, trying to reach my total by the end of July. I’m planning on hosting multiple events, whilst also doing a sponsored swim/run and hosting several afternoon teas, amongst other things. I would really appreciate any contribution (no matter how small) to help me reach my total.
If you would like to get in touch to find out any more information, or to give me a donation towards my year away, please contact me at: Ardenlea, Fintry Road, Kippen (Tel 01786 870395; mobile 07402151709); email firstname.lastname@example.org. Or donate online on my Virgin Money Giving page:
Please feel free to visit my Facebook Page where I’ve got more information, and I will post updates on my progress and advertise any events that I’ll be holding.