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Volunteer remote summer project supports Rwandan social enterprise

17 Sep 2021

Our students have adapted tremendously to the challenges of volunteering during the pandemic

Volunteer project

When it became clear that our University’s overseas volunteering project Team Rwanda wouldn’t be able to take place in the summer, an alternative remote project was established in its place. In just four weeks, 22 students contributed over 500 volunteering hours from remote locations to continue supporting social enterprise, Azizi Life.

The opportunity was supplemented with a high level of training and skills development as well as cultural immersion opportunities where the team got to meet and work alongside Azizi Life staff in Rwanda and the US. Working in sub-teams, students stepped up to help with business and enterprise development, community impact research, social media fundraising and digital media. Their volunteering efforts supported Azizi Life’s entry to the UK market - producing valuable resources such as social media posts and donor reports which has helped to launch a campaign to raise $15,000 towards adult literacy classes.

Tom McGregor, Co-Founder of Azizi Life said: "It has been an honour to be part of this remote volunteering program. Each project created a huge amount of wonderful work that will not only help with the growth of Azizi Life in the short term but will also be useful for many more years to come."

The remote volunteering project has been aimed at students who were from an economically or socially disadvantaged background. This was done in a bid to rebalance the range of experiences available to those where self-funded travel, gap years and volunteering is far less common. This volunteering opportunity has also given students the chance to gain valuable skills, develop their inter-cultural awareness and enhance their employability.

Sofia Borhan who’s studying Medicine said: "I feel so grateful for having been a part of this team. My summer has been so wholesome this year, especially after the presentations, seeing all the work that we've done collectively." 

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