Learning Xhosa in Eastern Cape

Luton swim teacher Roisin Smyth in Africa wirh voluntary group ICS
Luton swim teacher Roisin Smyth in Africa wirh voluntary group ICS

Learning the Xhosa language and washing clothes by hand was an enriching and challenging experience for Luton swim teacher and casual lifeguard Roisin Smyth, 23.

The former Cardinal Newman pupil spent three months in the Eastern Cape volunteering with the charity International Citizen Service (ICS).

She said: “I was living with a host family in a small village called Ntlaza near the town of Mthatha. The ICS team worked closely with young people in high schools, clinics and youth centres.

“We facilitated sessions on sexual reproductive health and gender-based violence, as well as HIV and AIDs, teenage pregnancy, assertiveness and rape.

“Our aim was to provide information to them and the community to improve their awareness and future health, in addition to trying to eradicate myths surrounding some of these areas.”

ICS is a government-funded programme recruiting young people aged between 18 and 25 to volunteer around the world with a variety of charities. There are no financial or educatonal requirements and anyone can apply.

> More at www.volunteerics.org/