Eighteen-year-old Pointe Claire student Julia Salbo-Crowhurst left the country Saturday for a five-month adventure. The John Abbott College student left for Kenya where she is now volunteering in an orphanage and work in a HIV/AIDS outreach program. Taking a semester off school for this humanitarian effort is something the young woman has dreamed off for a long time.
“I'm finally making my dream a reality. Taking a semester off school and doing this trip will allow me to think about what my future will bring. I'm applying to universities before I leave in the section of social and international development,” she said.
The trip’s preparation has actually lasted longer than the stay will. For seven months, Salbo-Crowhurst has been raising funds to subsidize the trip, amassing a total amount of $1,800. The money will be used by International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ) to provide help with the tasks the student will be working on.
IVHQ is known to provide safe, affordable volunteering programs abroad in developing countries all over the world. Each year they place over 4000 people into programs abroad and have a wide range of volunteer opportunities such as teaching, medical work, HIV/Aids awareness, women empowerment, sports education, construction work, conservation work, panda conservation, surf and swim school, agricultural work and orphanage assistance.
While she didn’t know for sure what tasks she would be required to perform or what village she will be sent to before leaving, Salbo-Crowhurst was excited and confident about making an impact thanks to the renowned effectiveness of IVHQ.
“They base themselves on small organizations in each country and place their volunteers in places that help is truly needed. No one is useless over there and everyone is there to make a difference. i am hoping to make an impact while I'm there with projects and helping with basic necessities,” she said.
I can't wait to see all the beautiful Kenyan children since children are one thing that bring me great joy. I am a day camp counselor during my summers here in Montreal and can't find any other people I'd rather be around than children that can love and teach more you can even teach them. Many volunteers I have spoken to have told me even though these children have been through more things that we can even imagine they smile and laugh more than children who have the world.”