And now to introduce our team members! For the PoléPolé Lesotho project taking place this August, seven people of different backgrounds and areas of expertise have come together to get this project started. In this post we would like to share with you a few things about ourselves, to highlight some of the qualities our volunteers have to offer.
Having just completed the MEng in Structural Engineering course at the University of Malta, Adrian will be flying to Lesotho to give a helping hand in the building of GLC, the orphanage at which agara will later be setting up an IT facility. Last year, Adrian volunteered with agara in Lebanon, where a similar project with Syrian refugees was set up. He now looks forward to working with orphans, many of whom have never used or even came across IT facilities, in the delivery of IT classes. Working in agara for the last year and a half as a member of the PoléPolé team has led Adrian to meet a variety of personalities within the organisation. This has inspired him to work further with such groups of people, and to stay motivated with the prospect of new projects.
Bernard has been working in the IT industry for about ten years and is now leading a team of developers. He has been involved with agara for the past two years, where he volunteered in Calais and Dunkirk, running IT lab sessions in The Jungle refugee camp. Previously to this, Bernard also worked with youths in the local parish, where he was mainly involved in youth formation.
This is Clara’s first major project with agara, although for the past year she has also been involved in the newly-formed music team in agara, Resonate. This is thanks to her background as a musician, as she currently interns with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra after having lived in Edinburgh for five years to study music and musicology. Clara joined the Lesotho 2018 team as she believes that the benefits of providing IT access and promoting education in communities are invaluable.
Lorna works as a diabetes education nurse in Mater Dei Hospital, and has a passion for travelling while also doing annual voluntary work, both locally and abroad. She has offered nursing services in India, and has also organised fundraisers for other voluntary trips to Ethiopia (water projects), Kenya and Cambodia (orphanages & sustainable projects). Lorna has also been involved in fund raising for Gift of Life, but she presently volunteers in Soup Kitchen OFM (Malta) and agara Foundation – Lesotho PoléPolé 2018.
Dean is 24 years old and works as a pensions administrator for a pension company. He believes that voluntary work is important as it helps the individual grow in every aspect of life. This will be Dean’s fourth experience of doing voluntary work abroad, and one thing he learnt from past experiences is that it is important not to have any expectations. Being part of the PoléPolé team has given Dean not only the opportunity to grow as a person, but also to travel, meet new people, and experience different cultures across the world.
Janice is a 23 year old who has always had the dream of experiencing voluntary work overseas. Her first opportunity, however, presented itself only this year when she found out about the Lesotho project. Janice is currently reading for a Masters in Translation and Terminology Studies at the University of Malta, after having obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Maltese last year. Being a handball player and coach has led Janice to find a sense of belonging in groups, and has also enhanced her teamwork abilities. She particularly enjoys working with children and using her energy to interact with and help other people.
James currently works with HSBC Bank as a branch teller. In 2013, James had a voluntary work experience in Mozambique, where amongst other things he helped the local Augustinian sisters in building huts for the locals. Through this experience, James also discovered and grew to love Africa. In the Lesotho project, James is part of the sub-team responsible for preparing the IT educational material that the group will be delivering to the local volunteers during their stay.