Beckton student teaches in Zambia

Beckton student Patricia Okello is about to embark on a three month volunteering stint in Africa to teach young people about the importance of sexual health and how to avoid contracting the HIV virus.

Currently studying at University College London, the bright History student appiled to work in Zambia for three months to pursue her passion for international development and she leaves on July 14.

Patricia said: “I intend to ensure I benefit the communities I work with in any positive way I can. Most significantly, the opportunity to develop my understanding of another culture and learn more about myself has made me more interested in this programme.

“Volunteering overseas will allow me to work with various types of people and develop my communication and interpersonal skills whilst challenging any assumptions I have on life in countries less developed than the United Kingdom. It will be an invaluable educational experience.”

Patricia applied for opporunity to make a difference in the third world country throught the International Citicen Service scheme which aims to give 18-22-year-olds life-changing experiences by enhancing their knowledge of the developing world.

The scheme is largely funded by the government so that those on a lower income can travel for free but wealthier students are asked to pay towards costs.

Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell said: “This is an important opportunity for young people not only to broaden their own horizons but also to have life-changing impact on others.

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“International Citizen Service volunteers like Patricia will learn firsthand about the challenges faced by very poor communities in developing countries, and how their lives can be improved. By making this contribution these volunteers will show what a difference one person can make in the world.

“I’m sure they will return from their experience full of enthusiasm for helping others, and with an understanding and appreciation of the results development can bring.”

If you are 18-22 and want the chance to follow in Patricia’s footsteps, visit or