Hibiscus & Bays youngest local board member, Caitlin Watson, is exchanging summer at the beach for a month doing volunteer work in Uganda.
The 20-year-old says her enjoyment of helping out in different parts of the developing world began when she was 15 and went to Tanzania with other Kingsway School students to teach and provide some resources.
“I loved hanging with the kids,” she says. “While you are learning about their culture we also shared ours, which included performing a Maori song which the kids loved.”
Last summer she spent a few days in Peru, volunteering at an orphanage.
Next month, Caitlin will head to Uganda with 19 other young people as part of a Purpose Projects initiative. This is only the second group that Purpose Projects has taken to Uganda — the charitable organisation was started recently by Laura Robinson, a 22-year-old who wanted to provide a volunteer platform for young adults in communities that need help.
Caitlin says the key project they will work on is building a school for 1000 students in the community of Kkboa. She will also work on various community programmes and says her recently acquired BA in Political and International Relations, and work as a local board member, also give her a keen interest in finding out about the local politics of a place.
Every participant raises $5000, half of which covers costs and half goes towards building the new school.
Once the local board has had its last meeting, this week, Caitlin says she will be able to focus on raising the money for the school, which she hopes to do by holding a Quiz Night and selling Christmas gift cards.
She has also opened a Givealittle page, called Building a School in Uganda Purpose Projects and says any donations are greatly appreciated as every dollar donated goes to the Ugandan school project.