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Primary school pupils visited Oban High School last week to learn more about the wider world and how to be a positive force in it.
More than 90 youngsters from across Argyll and Bute were at The Project Trust Global Citizenship Event on Friday.
Former High School pupil Megan Evans, now an ambassador for the Coll-based trust, was there to tell the children about her time volunteering with the charity in South Africa.
Megan was joined by other ambassadors, aged 19 to 21, who have also volunteered with the trust around the world.
They were at the High School to tell the primary children about other cultures, global issues and human rights in the hope of inspiring the next generation of global citizens.
Megan, who is now studying psychology at university in Aberdeen and hopes to train as a teacher, said: ‘We were really surprised at just how aware the children already were about some of the places where we’ve volunteered and about the poverty experienced. They asked lots of interesting questions.’
Ingrid Emerson MBE, chief executive, Project Trust said: ‘The vision of Project Trust, as an international education charity, is to empower the
next generation of young people to become active global citizens. And what better place to do this than with the young people in our own local community.
‘Our Ambassadors delivering the workshops on the day bring real-life perspective through first-hand experience of volunteering overseas with Project Trust in teaching, youth work, and social care roles.
‘With the support of Argyll and Bute Council’s Supporting Communities Fund, we hope to develop the children’s understanding of their
rights and responsibilities in their local community, whilst also giving them an insight into other countries and cultures.’
Megan, who returned to Oban in 2019 after her 12-month overseas placement, said the experience was life-changing and inspired her to want to work with children who have disabilities.
‘Working with disabled children wasn’t a role I’d previously considered – and now, I can’t see myself doing anything else. I found my confidence and self belief.
‘The local community in and around Oban was really supportive during my fundraising ahead of going overseas, so the Project Trust Global Citizenship Event is an ideal opportunity for me to pass on that support and inspiration to others – by sharing some of my learning including about how different societies work.’
Argyll and Bute Council’s policy lead for education, Councillor Yvonne McNeilly said: ‘Our driving force is wanting our young people to succeed in life and Megan, a former Oban High School pupil, is a prime example of someone who is well on her way to doing this as a result of the experience that volunteering overseas has given her.
‘Volunteering abroad not only helps to build confidence and independence, it enables young people to grow as individuals and to gain vital skills that will benefit them throughout their life. This event was a wonderful opportunity for the young people of Argyll and Bute to hear about volunteering overseas at first hand and to find out what opportunities there are for them to pursue this in the future.’
Project Trust, one of the original international gap year charities for young people, delivered the event thanks to support from Argyll and Bute Council’s Supporting Communities Fund.
Project Trust hopes to run similar events in the future in other local authority areas in Scotland and the UK.
To find out more go to projecttrust.org.uk/global-citizenship