We have received a lovely update from one of the winners of our Excellence Scholarships for Current Students in our class of 2013. Below is a copy of his letter. Enjoy!
“Hello there! My name is James Hallworth, I am a third year BA (Hons) History student and I was awarded a scholarship last year from Edge Hill University as recognition of my previous voluntary work.
I have spent the last few years, my summers at least, teaching English to people of all ages and abilities across India and Thailand. Specifically during my time at Edge Hill University, I spent two years as a Student Coordinator for a wonderful little charity named VESL. My roles were to select interested candidates from the university and prepare them for a 6-week summer teaching programme in Northern Thailand. This involved everything from fundraising, language training, teacher training, cultural awareness training, team building etc.
Once in the country, my primary objective was to ensure the smooth running of the project. I did my best to keep the volunteers and students safe and happy whilst getting as much from the experience as possible. In both years, this was challenging. Sometimes volunteers would fall ill and have to spend time in hospital, and at other times you might find yourself in a room with 200 Thai teachers who were semi-fluent in English and expected you to spend six hours helping them to progress. This kind of thing was daunting but continuously rewarding. We try to make small but long-lasting and visible changes to communities. In South East Asia, the ability to speak English in order to gain employment is growing exponentially and that is essentially why VESL send volunteers to this area.
I have experience of working and travelling abroad in many countries, China, Slovakia, India etc. As well as immensely enjoying exploring the world, these kinds of ventures have given me a real sense of consciousness in terms of just how fortunate I am to have been born in England. Here, we have all kinds of luxuries which much of the world simply does not. I hope to travel this summer with a large and well respected charity named ICS to Uganda or Zimbabwe to get involved with some community projects there. These will vary from working in HIV/Aids clinics, to teaching English through sports, to helping petition local authorities for changes that will benefit the community. The money that Edge Hill generously gave me through this scholarship will make this possible and I am extremely grateful for that. The university has shown me nothing but support in the time I have been here, and that includes everyone from the head of the History department to the library staff.
Thanks for reading!”