Royston graduate volunteers at deaf project in Phillippines


A GRADUATE from Royston is encouraging young people to take up volunteering opportunities overseas after spending time working with a deaf community in the Phillippines.

James Jennings, 25, spent three months in the country as part of a government-funded development programme, the International Citizen Service (ICS).

He worked on a project run by Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO), which looks at poverty in the deaf community of Cebu, and tackles issues such as child sex abuse and unequal rights.

The 25-year-old, a former student at Greneway School and The Meridian School, said: “It was really challenging but rewarding work in the Philippines and now I’m back at home, I feel so inspired and motivated by the people I lived and worked with.

“Voicing my experiences is just the first step to me becoming more active in my community and hopefully making a positive change in the world. I’m keen to get involved by volunteering with the deaf community in my area and am looking to work in development to apply my new skills.”

Mr Jennings said the experience of working in a developing country is one that stands you in good stead for entering the world of work.

He said: “I’ve picked up project management, leadership and communication skills as a result of ICS. It’s a unique opportunity to work alongside people from a different culture who have requested help from young volunteers to fight poverty and I would encourage anyone aged 18-25 to get out there and do it.”

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