Having always wanted to do volunteering in Africa, I felt very lucky to be given the opportunity when in college to go to Kenya, with what was then ‘YOUnite Outreach Project’. I fell in love with the country, the people and the projects we worked with. I can vividly remember the excited squeals of children seeing bubbles for the first time, and turning the front camera on my phone, to be greeted by shocked faces of them being able to see themselves. I was involved with Younite Outreach Project quite heavily in the beginning. Assisting with event planning and offering fundraising support for those who needed it. I had found a real love for organising and planning events. Something I wouldn’t have done if it wasn’t for my first Kenya trip.
Upon returning from my 1st trip, I knew I needed to come back, in fact before returning, I had made a promise I would be back. And a year later I returned, and it felt like I was going home. I knew what we were doing and the money we had raised to take with us was really making a difference
I knew I wasn’t done yet, and I visited a third time, and the schools were a million miles from the first time we visited but a million miles from where they needed to be. A whole new classroom had been built in Silverbells, land had been purchased for a new school at Melon. And this just wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for the groups of volunteers. This trip was my last trip before hitting full time work.
Even the work I chose to go into was centred around my experience of travelling and fundraising. Because of the passion I found in fundraising, it felt fitting to enter the events industry. From organising corporate events to having a Baby, I welcomed George into the world in 2016, and taking a step back from events felt like the right choice for me. And it certainly turned out to be the best choice I could make.
This amazing opportunity came up for me to work with Fiona at Younique Travel Adventures, and I couldn’t have been more excited about this. It was everything I had always wanted to do. But a lot had changed since I was last involved in the company.
2 more destinations, and a whole new name, but still the same passion and heart that had been behind it all along. I could see just how much of the right move this had been for Younique Travel Adventures, and how much more we could help now with having a partner charity in Younite Foundation. With community support still at the very core of what YTA do, it was fantastic to see that in the new destinations a common thread would hold three of the very different trips together, a support for the local communities we would visit. What was even more inspiring was that the support YTA would offer was tailored to the country, and how it would be most useful to them. After having a few years of not being involved I came back to seeing that nothing had changed, but everything was better, and what a privilege it is to be working in a company where we can make a difference, not only to the communities we support but also to the people that travel with us, just like it did with me.