A sixth-form student at Diss High School says she has an “amazing opportunity” to help children less fortunate than her, after being selected for a year-long teaching project in South America.
Imogen Keens-Soper, 17, was chosen by education charity Project Trust to join a 12-month trip to Guyana next September, where she will teach primary schoolchildren, after completing a five-day course at the Isle of Coll in Scotland two months ago.
She is now fundraising to help cover the trip’s £6,200 cost, starting when she and her friend Damson Ellen finished a sponsored walk along Boudicca Way, from Diss to Norwich, on Sunday, raising £250.
Imogen, a resident of Dublin Road in Rishangles, said she was inspired by the project’s remoteness, after learning about it through her school, and stated she was “absolutely thrilled” to have been picked following her selection course.
She told the Diss Express: “I think volunteering in Guyana will be immensely valuable as it will develop me in ways that wouldn’t be possible if I stayed in the UK and went on to uni or got a job.
“I chose to volunteer as a teacher not because I would like to become one but because it is an amazing opportunity for me to pass my educational experience onto younger children who have most likely not had the same opportunities as I have had.”
For the project, Imogen will be given the same responsibilities, pay and holidays as an actual Guyanese teacher, and she will be involved in events and voluntary work within the community she stays in.
She added: “This is something I would like to pursue in future, and I am extremely passionate and excited to embark on this journey of a lifetime.
“Hopefully, I will be able to give so much when I am out there, and I believe I will get so much in return.”
Imogen will hold regular fundraisers beginning in January, and has also applied to a number of trusts for grants.
n Anyone wishing to give their support can make a donation by going to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/imogenguyanagapyear
See www.facebook.com/Imogensyearinguyana for updates and more information.