Posted on February 28, 2020
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[Anna & Josh (2nd and 3rd from left with some of the staff at the ACT Office]
“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve”
― Martin Luther King Jr.
For centuries, the greatest thinkers have suggested the same thing — Happiness is found in helping others. Giving back is as good for you as it is for those you are helping, because giving gives you purpose.
Anna Bradescu and Josh Wylie, have learnt this lesson at an early stage in their lives. These thoughtful Trinity School, Croydon students gave their time to assist our work at the ACT office in Croydon. They dedicated 12 hours in total, spread over six weeks (2 hours a week) to serve during a critically important academic year when they are preparing to sit their A-level exams. They came to ACT as part of the Trinity School Sixth Form Community Volunteering programme that provides an opportunity for students at the school to get involved in the work of local charities, whilst also learning important life skills and the value of service.
Serving takes many forms (read our blog: The secret of a happy life). Essentially it boils down to giving your time. The easiest and most adaptable form of support is financial, however often overlooked is the donation of time – remember time is money. By giving up our time and energy to assist and help others we are giving a valuable and personal service towards the causes we choose to support. Nothing can buy more time and most of us make money by giving up our time for work. But when individuals like Josh and Anna kindly give their time to a worthy cause like ACT it enables the redirection of funding and energy towards our vision of relieving poverty and advancing the education of disadvantaged orphans, children and widows across Africa.
When Josh and Anna came to ACT we eagerly asked them for their critical evaluation of parts of the organisation. Due to their non-biased views and younger outlook, we valued their opinions and comments on areas we could improve. It’s important to us that we value critique and advice, especially from a younger generation with fresh ideas and viewpoints, after all the thrust of our work is directed at children such as themselves, but who otherwise are disadvantaged because of poverty. Anna and Josh excelled at this and came up with some creative ideas on changes to the ACT website which we took aboard.
Fresh off their first task, Josh and Anna threw themselves into a new project that admittedly could look very intimidating to even veteran volunteers. But with an impressive amount of enthusiasm they took to utilising data of the children we support to prepare our key performance indicators. By sorting through an incredible amount of data, they were able to extract and compile what seemed like random stats and figures thrown together into useful, readable and presentable information such as number of girls and boys we are supporting in each of the 8 African countries where we work and their school years. These will assist many different areas of the organisation for years to come.
But Josh and Anna have walked away from ACT with something as well. Their experience here has taught them new skills that they probably may not acquire elsewhere. They learnt about how important our work is to children like them in Africa who without our support may not have the opportunity to reach their potential. They also appreciated the freedom and trust they were given to approach problems as individuals. Anna told us of how she feels her problem solving skills have increased dramatically due to her ‘on the job’ learning with new and old, software. Josh is proud of how his Excel knowledge has drastically improved to a level he would never have learnt in a classroom environment. Both skills and a level of confidence we hope they will both take into their futures and will bring them every success in whichever path they choose.
We welcome any support given to us, our partnership with local Schools and volunteers brings so much to ACT. We welcome all forms of support from anyone with open arms.
Our work is driving a positive change in the lives of so many in areas such as, Education, Social Welfare, Sanitation and Health and benefiting countless lives across impoverished communities in the 8 African countries where work. With the support of people like Josh and Anna, we can continue to make a change, striving towards our aim of breaking the cycle of poverty in Africa.
To find out more about ACT visit our website.
To make a donation to our work please click here.