A CARING South Tyneside student is swapping classrooms and continents – to give vital support to youngsters on the other side of the world.
Jessica Carr will be jetting off to Fiji this summer to join a 24-strong expedition to give educational aid in the poorest parts of the island country in June.
The 19-year-old, who studies Human Geography at Leeds Beckett University, will be learning about a brand new culture from the ground up - as she will be sleeping on the floor of a Fijian family during her seven-week stay.
The former Harton Technology College student, from Leafield Crescent, South Shields, says she is “excited” about the opportunity of taking part in the aid mission, organised by Think Pacific, a group co-ordinating relief efforts in Fiji.
Miss Carr, a first year student at the university, said: “I saw an advertisement at university for the volunteer expedition and went to a meeting to find out more about it.
“I thought it was a great opportunity that I might never get again.
I have always wanted to go away and do some volunteering.
“I am very excited about the trip.
“While I am there I will be helping to improve education curriculum in some of the poorest schools in rural Fiji and facilitating sports development by providing equipment, training and access for Fijians to take part in structured sporting activities for the first time.
“I will be living with a Fijian family in a village while I am there.
“I think I will be sleeping on the floor.”
Miss Carr needs to raise £400 for Think Pacific to take part in the trip and has already raised £250 thanks to donations, including a £150 boost from the call centre team at BT South Tyneside.
She will be bolstering her funds even further by taking part in a sponsored abseil off the Leeds university building in April.
Miss Carr added: “I will be helping to teach English in the schools when I am there.
“I have always wanted to go away and do some volunteering.”
As well as helping young people in Fiji, Miss Carr is delighted to have the chance to tackle a new experience and broaden her horizons.
She is still keen for donations to help her reach the £400 target ahead of the expedition.
She added: “The donations ensure that our impact goes far beyond our own hands-on efforts to teach, coach sports and inspire Fijian children during their project.”
The Think Pacific foundation will use the cash to support the poorest schools and communities in Fiji.
The foundation aims to improve infrastructure within rural communities, through installing fresh water supplies, boosting sanitation facilities and building school classrooms.
It is also leading a bid to increase access to basic health care, finance education equipment and provide training and education scholarships.
Anyone who would like more information on how they can donate and help Jessica hit her £400 target, can email Jessica at firstname.lastname@example.org