Sophie’s Bolivia trip leaves “lasting mark” on her life

Sophie Greenwood (right) with other volunteers and the children she worked with in Bolivia

Sophie Greenwood (right) with other volunteers and the children she worked with in Bolivia - Credit: Archant

A woman who has just returned from a three-month stint volunteering in Bolivia has described the “lasting mark” the trip has left on her life.

Sophie Greenwood, 24, from Bassingbourn, spent three months in La Paz, the Bolivian capital, as part of the International Citizen Service scheme, which gives young people aged 18-25 the chance to work in developing countries helping to tackle issues affecting people there.

She said: “I specifically worked with an organisation called ‘Up Close Bolivia’, which was situated in Mallasa, a small community in the outskirts of La Paz.

“One of my projects was to teach English classes, which allowed the locals access to education, providing a skill that will help open up brighter opportunities to them for the future, especially in the tourism sector. This way, the community can bring more trade to the area.”

Sophie and the other volunteers also helped run an after-school club called Nuestro Espacio, or our space, which provided a supervised space for children aged seven-12 to complete school work, and then to express themselves through a range of extracurricular activities, such as arts and crafts, sport and drama.

She said: “Both these projects were very rewarding and engaging. Being so integrated in such a welcoming, close-knit community was incredible, and has left a long lasting mark on me and my life. Bolivia itself is a breath-taking beautiful and diverse country. “

ICS operate in a number of countries around the world. To find out more about ICS, or to apply for the scheme, visit or call 0208 780 7400.