A KENDAL teenager who spent ten weeks in Tanzania helping to educate hundreds of people about the importance of water quality has urged those unsure as to their next move in life to consider volunteering.

Alex Rigby, from Low Fellside, has encouraged those who have just received their A-Level results to apply to volunteer with the UK Government-funded International Citizen Service.


The service brings together 18 to 25 year olds from all backgrounds to fight poverty in some of the world’s poorest communities.

“ICS is a fantastic opportunity for young people like me from the UK to work with young people from developing countries to make a difference in the fight against poverty,” said the 19-year-old, who applied to ICS after finishing her A-Levels at The Queen Katherine School, Kendal, and will begin studying towards a joint History and Politics degree at Glasgow University next month.

“Alongside my in-country counterparts, I helped to educate roughly 2,100 people in our village emphasising the importance of hand washing, treating drinking water and how necessary having a toilet is.

"I was just 18 when I applied and I would really encourage other people my age in the local area to apply. For those who have just got their A Level results, now is a great time to apply to ICS, especially if you’re unsure what to do next.

“ICS has been an incredible journey for me and has given me the skills and experience that will help me a huge amount in future. It has given me a completely different perspective on life.”

Alex joins journalist Jon Snow in encouraging 18-year-olds to volunteer overseas with ICS, which is led by VSO (Voluntary Services Overseas).

Snow, who volunteered with VSO in Uganda at the age of 18, said: “It changed my life, and has informed me ever since. Suddenly, having never been on a plane, and having never left Europe before, I saw the world from the South looking North.

“I would urge any 18-year-old to devote time to volunteering with VSO or any other international development agency committed to reducing the gulf between rich and poor.”

For more information visit www.volunteerics.org.