Project Trust is an educational charity who specialise in sending 17-19 year old school leavers overseas for 8 or 12 month volunteer placements in Africa, Asia or the Americas.
Project Trust was founded in 1967 as an educational charity on the Hebridean Isle of Coll in North West Scotland. Since then we have sent over 6,000 volunteers overseas. Project Trust sends about 280-300 inspirational young people to 22 countries annually and is widely respected as one of the most experienced and professional year out organisations in Britain.
Our main philosophy is to provide young people with an opportunity to understand a community overseas by immersing themselves in it; living and working there for a year. All our projects are vetted for their suitability for volunteers, and none deprive local people of work. We have the expertise and the infrastructure to ensure all volunteers are given a challenging and exciting opportunity to develop themselves. This includes a challenging Education programme which includes gaining an Open College Network Level 3 Qualification in Global Citizenship and Volunteering.
Our volunteers return from their 8 or 12 month placements with a more global perspective about the world that they live in. We are therefore in a unique position to help shape and develop the Global Citizens of the future. Since January, we have been running a Global Citizenship pilot scheme at both primary and secondary level to enable committed, highly skilled and enthusiastic Returned Volunteers to speak about their experiences in schools across the UK and Netherlands, developing global awareness and understanding amongst young people. This is with a view to ensuring a dedicated Education Development Officer establishes an innovative and cutting-edge Global Citizenship schools’ programme across the UK and the Netherlands through Returned Volunteers. Schools will be able to request Project Trust speakers to enrich their Global Education curriculum. It is an exciting time for Project Trust and we believe that our volunteers can help to respond effectively to the global issues and challenges facing us in the twenty-first century.
Our four main objectives are as follows:
- To give young people the opportunity to learn about a wider community than that in which they have lived so far, in a country with a different culture to their own, and for a length of time which enables them to appreciate the complete cycle of the seasons.
- To let them learn to use their imagination and skills by undertaking work which they may never have done before, to take up new interests and to utilise their initiative and resourcefulness to help others.
- To return with an objective appreciation of both the community they lived in overseas and their home community, to use their newly learned skills to benefit others and to have a clearer picture of what they want to achieve in the future.
- To help others at home to understand the culture of countries outside their normal experience.
Key strategic areas for the forthcoming year are:
Sustaining volunteer numbers at 280-300 per year
We primarily recruit volunteers through our partnerships with schools and colleges across the UK and the Netherlands. Our Recruitment Team work with a network of Returned Volunteers to deliver promotional talks and to develop and maintain mutually beneficial relationships with these schools and colleges. Online and print marketing and social media are also used to support recruitment efforts and this is a key area we wish to expand and develop. We are also looking to develop partnerships with other youth organisations and to ensure that we continue to attract applications from young people from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds, and providing bursaries to those who need support with their fundraising.
Maximising the educational and personal development benefits for volunteers
A year abroad with Project Trust has always provided significant educational and personal development benefits for our volunteers. We are now working to formally accredit the volunteering experience with a nationally-recognised Open College Network (OCN) Level 3 qualification in Volunteering and Global Citizenship, which will be offered to all volunteers from 2013 onwards. We also support our volunteers to share their experiences and understanding of key global issues with other young people, through our new Global Citizenship Schools Programmes, which pairs returned volunteers with partner primary and secondary schools, to support the delivery of the citizenship curriculum. Our recently appointed Education Development Officer is leading on the delivery and expansion of this exciting area of our work.
Enriching our overseas programme and ensuring quality of volunteer support
With more volunteers overseas than ever before, we are committed to enhancing the service and support we provide young people throughout the volunteering journey. To this end, we are expanding our overseas programme into a number of new countries (including Rwanda, Ghana and Indonesia), and increasing our team of Desk Officers to support these programmes and volunteers. We are also planning three regional learning and development conferences for our network of in-country representatives and expanding the provision of in-country language training for volunteers.
Increasing fundraising revenues and diversifying income streams
Earlier this year, Project Trust launched a strategic fundraising appeal – the Family Tree Fund – to raise the funds needed to achieve our key objectives. Our target is to raise £1 million over the next year, and to establish new streams of income to ensure the long term financial sustainability of the organisation.
Organisational member, E
Areas of Interest
- Children and young people
- Climate Change
- Education - Schools
- Education – General
- Education – Global Citizenship
- Health – General
- HIV AIDS
- Social Care
- United Kingdom
- South Africa
- Sri Lanka