Young Rugby woman to spend gap year tackling poverty in Liberia - The Rugby Observer

Young Rugby woman to spend gap year tackling poverty in Liberia

Andy Morris 28th Nov, 2017   0

AN UNFORGETTABLE gap year awaits a young Rugby woman who has chosen to spend her time off helping lift some of the world’s poorest communities out of poverty.

Sofia Bright, 19, is raising money to support a project to tackle poverty in Liberia, where she will be volunteering for three months.

Lifelong Rugbeian Sofia will travel to Liberia in January with international development organisation Y-Care International, as part of the Government-funded International Citizen Service (ICS) programme.

The former Ashlawn School and Warwickshire College student will work with Liberian volunteers to help teach young children about healthcare and how to stay healthy in their environment.

She said: “I look forward to helping people of similar age to myself and meeting the Liberian volunteers I will be working alongside and hopefully making friends.

“I hope to help the children to have a better understanding of their personal health and how to stay safe.”

She will stay with a host family in the city of Kakata to immerse herself in the community and better understand the challenges they face.

She added: “The most daunting thing is to be so far away from home and be in such a diverse environment I haven’t experienced before.

“But I am looking forward to meeting my Liberian team members and working alongside them to make a difference in their community, while making some lifelong friends and memories along the way.”

She came across the ICS program on social media and saw an opportunity to make a difference in an undeveloped country.

But before she heads to Liberia, she is trying to raise £1,500 for Y-Care International with a raffle, a karaoke night, charity parties, bucket collections and a 12-hour sponsored cycle – as well as an online fundraising page.

“This is my first fundraising activity so I’m really hoping it goes well,” she said. “Any donation is hugely appreciated, and will make a real difference.”

ICS allows young people aged 18-25 to contribute to sustainable development projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

On their return to the UK, ICS volunteers undertake an ‘Action at Home’ project, ensuring their new skills also benefit local communities. More than 13,000 young people from the UK have taken part in the scheme since 2011.

Felicity Morgan, Director of ICS at Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), said: “Sofia will be joining thousands of other ICS volunteers who are doing amazing work around the world every day. We’re incredibly proud that UK aid is supporting young Brits bring about positive change in some of the world’s poorest communities.

“As an organisation working on the frontline against poverty, VSO sees how people across Britain play an important role in delivering UK aid. From the NHS and Army helping end the Ebola crisis, to the millions who donate, and the contribution we all make through taxes, together we are all making the world a fairer, safer place.”

Visit for more information on ICS.

Sofia has so far raised over £580 towards her £1,500 target. Visit to sponsor her.

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