It has been a busy week to say the least! I have sent countless emails and messages out to companies asking for donations for my upcoming raffle – people have been overwhelmingly generous in the name of such a great cause. I have been painting my canvas bags which will soon go up for sale to raise funds for ICS and Y Care International. I’ve had labs, assignments, my exam timetable was released, the university concert band had our concert and… do you know, I can’t even remember any more. It has been a long – and yet undeniably quick – week.
I’ve been lucky enough to have the support of my housemates when it has come to painting my canvas bags. You can see some of them modelling our designs in the photo below (not enough hands, so feet were required!). You can also see the mess that I have left, far worse than usual, but I’m sure I’ll eventually get around to tidying up.
In addition to all the actually relatively productive things I have been doing, I’ve also become slightly obsessed with Pretty Little Liars. I should probably have waited until the end of term to start watching it because it is addictive… Netflix is a terrible/wonderful thing.
Really not a lot else to say, I don’t think! If you haven’t already, please like and share my pages – I’d really appreciate it!
Yesterday I got a very exciting email telling me where I have been provisionally placed for the ICS programme…. With my partner charity, in June, I will be going to…. Sierra Leone!
To be honest, before looking it up on Google yesterday I would have been hard pressed to tell you that it was in Africa… But after a quick googling, I found out that whilst the official language is actually English, there are loads of languages spoken there. As a country, it is regarded as one of the most religiously tolerant across the planet, which is amazing. It is also one of the fastest growing economies in the world but is still one of the poorest. The average life expectancy is less than 60 for both men and women. 70% of the population lives in poverty.
Over the course of my journey with ICS, I expect to learn an awful lot about this wildly different country and culture – one of the reasons I joined the programme in the first place. In my opinion, we as people can’t learn to work together and won’t be able to make progress in society if we can’t be tolerant and open to other peoples’ ideas. And really, I find it fascinating to see how others live their lives. I know I am lucky here in the UK. It can be easy to forget. I hope that this amazing experience will open my eyes to the kind of thing that we tend to ignore and push me even further along the path to becoming an international citizen of the world.
I know it is late but it’s just such exciting news that I couldn’t wait to let people know. I have been accepted onto the International Citizenship Service programme and have been partnered with Y-Care International.Days of obsessively checking my emails can finally come to an end!
What is ICS? For those of you who don’t know, ICS works with communities that specifically request their help and aims to inspire young people in and out of the UK to become active citizens. I will be volunteering overseas in West Africa over the summer on this amazing programme and I am so excited!
The first part of my challenge is to raise £800 which goes towards the work of Y-Care International and their ICS partners. The money goes towards the overall costs of ICS and ensures that they can continue to send youth volunteers to the developing world. It all makes a real difference in these disadvantaged countries.The programme itself is 90% funded by the Department for International Development (a UK government deparment) and the other 10% is raised by volunteers like me to ensure that it can run in the future. Amazingly, £8million has been raised by ICS volunteers which is insane!
So what will I be doing to fundraise? Among other things, I plan to make some (hopefully) gorgeous canvas bags to sell for funds and do a sponsored week without music (which will undoubtedly lead to a very angsty Nicola – more than normal!) Music is a huge part of my life and I think that, as silly as it may sound, giving up my iPod, record player, radio and youtube for a week will almost certainly kill me. Anyone that knows me will certainly vouch for how hard that will be for me but really you should be feeling sorry for the people that are going to have to be around me that week. Other than that, we will see what happens!
Honestly, anything you can donate will make a huge difference to the lives of people living in the disadvantaged countries that ICS works with. If you want to donate to my page you can find it here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/nicola-sadler2
I will be sharing my journey on this blog so please stay tuned for (many) updates and any support you can give will be so greatly received. Good night!