Project Trust is an educational charity based on the Hebridean Isle of Coll in the UK. Since 1967 Project Trust has been sending volunteers to Africa, Asia and the Americas for a wide variety of long-term volunteering projects including teaching, social care work, outward-bound instructing and journalism. All of Project Trust’s volunteers are 17- to 19-year-old school leavers, with around 300 volunteers from across the UK and mainland Europe going overseas annually.
Project Trust was started in 1967 when Nicholas Maclean-Bristol OBE sent three volunteers to a school in Ethiopia. Project Trust proceeded to grow both in terms of the amount of volunteers sent abroad, and the array of destinations they were sent to.
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Project Trust is the only volunteering organisation that specialises in sending schools leavers overseas for a full 12 months (with a small proportion of volunteers working overseas on eight month placements). The key reasons cited by Project Trust for this decision are that a year-long project provides:
Community involvement - 12 or eight months gives volunteers time become integrated into a community and learn in-depth about a new culture. Being in their role long-term allows volunteers to work and improve in their volunteering role for an extended period of time, delivering a real benefit to the community they’re working in.
Time to experience as much as possible - Throughout their 12 or eight months overseas, volunteers live through the changes that occur in a country;every season, every festival and every holiday. Volunteers are also provided with at least six weeks paid holiday during which they can travel across the continent in which they have been placed.
Language opportunities - A year overseas allows volunteers time to learn a new language, or become fluent in one that they learned at school, such as French or Spanish.