Beth Waters (left) is pictured with fellow Lough Allen College student Syrenna Kilfeather and Ms Fiona Kuehl, School Principal.
Every student looks forward to the Summer break, but for one Drumkeerin teenager, June 2017 will mark a real summer with a difference - a volunteering trip to Katmandu in Nepal!
17-year-old Beth Waters, a Transition Year student at Lough Allen College, is one of five girls in Ireland who will be making the trip to Nepal in early June with Projects Abroad.
Speaking to the Leitrim Observer just days before the start of National Volunteering Week, Beth says she first became interested in volunteering two years ago when she was just 15, “but I decided to wait until I was older and wiser” she laughingly admits.
Doing research on volunteering projects around the world, one of the first Beth came across was a organisation called Projects Abroad.
“They seemed the best and I applied to them to get involved,” explains Beth.
After selecting a location for her volunteer work - Nepal - she started to fundraise for the trip.
Through a gofundme page, other donations, fundraising locally and with the help of her teacher, Ann Foley, who Beth says was a “real support and great help”, she was able to reach her goal in April this year.
Since then Projects Abroad has put Beth in contact with the four other Irish girls who will be travelling to Nepal with her to work on the same project
All the volunteers for this project are between 16 and 19 years of age.
“We have a group chat running on facebook so we can speak to each other before we head out in June,” adds Beth.
In front of her is a 14 hour flight to Katmandu, Nepal. From here she and and her fellow volunteers will go to the are where they will be working for their two week stay.
Their duties include organising games and fun activities for disadvantaged children and helping out with basic renovation work in a local community.
Beth and her fellow volunteers will also be treated to experiences of local culture, crafts and dance.
Beth admits she is a little nervous of the trip but is really looking forward to the experience.
“I love the idea of giving back something to a community in need,” she says.
“I think with things like charities you can give money but you don't know where that money is going to be used. Volunteering you get to see the difference you are making.”
Beth says that she hopes other young people look at volunteering.
“I think it is so important for us to all realise what's going on the world. Not everyone is as lucky as we are and by volunteering we get a chance to give back .”