International Citizen Hazel goes to Cambodia with VSO

123-Hazel ICSOn Monday 8 May Hazel Duffell visited our Club to tell us about the adventure that she will be embarking upon in June. 

Hazel will be volunteering for three months in partnership with the charity Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO). She will be working on development projects in Cambodia,  which will focus on health, education and livelihoods. 

Hazel is a Biology graduate from the University of Exeter, and has since returned home to live in Harpenden, and work for a charity. Hazel applied for and was chosen as a participant on International Citizen Service. International Citizen Service (ICS) is an opportunity for 18 to 25 year old volunteers, like Hazel, to help some of the poorest people in the world and learn valuable new skills at the same time. It’s a programme that brings young people from different countries together to fight poverty. In many poorer countries young people make up the majority of the population. This programme is specifically designed to get young people from the UK and my host country together to tackle poverty and its causes. Young people, are the best placed to do this and change the world for the future. Hazel will have the opportunity to increase her understanding and experience of the world and develop important skills such as global and cultural awareness, team-working, leadership, communication and decision-making.

Hazel has been selected to go to Cambodia with the VSO, for three months starting in June. During this time, she will be living with a local family in the Banan District of Battambang Province and will be involved in a community work project along with a counterpart from Cambodia. VSO are a charity who bring inspiration, energy and vital practical skills to help achieve community goals: better healthcare, more valuable education and broader opportunities. In Banan District specifically, Hazel will be working to increase young people’s awareness of career pathways, business development and education of diversified agriculture. This will lead to enhanced livelihood options for young people, which in turn helps mitigate youth migration and increases their potential for contribution to social and economic development in Cambodia.
124-Hazel ICS 

The ICS Volunteers are asked to raise £800 and Hazel has a JustGiving page: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/BananLivelihoods

Hazel came to the Club armed with a delicious home-baked chocolate cake to aid her fundraising efforts. The Club donated £25 (see pic above of President Rita presenting Hazel with the cheque) and individual Members bought pieces of cake and made donations of £59.44 on the night (see 2nd pic) – making a fantastic grand total of £84.44 to support VSO’s work.

Hazel sent an email as soon as she got home from the meeting: “I just want to say a massive thank you to all the St Albans Soroptimist’s members at your meeting this evening! Everyone was so generous with their donations for cakes, and had so many lovely encouragements for my volunteering project in Cambodia…I’m very grateful!  Thank you for having me speak at your meeting this evening, and thank you for everyone’s interest in VSO’s volunteering work. I hope to speak with you all at a meeting again when I return!”

We loved meeting Hazel (and her Mum) and wish her every good wish with her adventure and for her future career. Hazel embodies the Soroptimist strap-line “women inspiring action transforming lives” – we will be sure to hold her to her commitment to come back and tell us all about it!