Sophie From Leeds University Shares Her Summer Memories

Published 22/08/2017
Leeds University Students Volunteer with Think Pacific

Think Pacific was created by graduates at Leeds University and with the support and partnership of The Careers Centre, we have always had a strong tradition of Leeds University students spending their summer volunteering on our youth, sports, health, mental health and community development programs in Fiji.

Over 200 Leeds University Students have volunteered in Fiji since 2009.  Here, one of our Leeds University alumni, Sophie, shares her thoughts and also a video she made of her summer travels, including a month spent in a remote Fijian village:

“It’s definitely going to take some time for me to process the views I have seen, the emotions I have felt and to find the words to explain how amazing this experience has been.

We spent 4 days in Hong Kong before flying to Fiji to go island hopping for 6 days where I actually questioned how I was seeing the things I was seeing at just 19 years of age and this video cannot truly show the views we were able to experience.

The main reason for me travelling to Fiji was to assist in a school classed as underachieving. I assisted in years 3-4 for three weeks with the aim of reducing the disparity between those underachieving and those thriving. I was heartbroken to see that some of the children could not write their names, could not answer 1+1 or even begin to sing the alphabet whilst some were achieving so much.

After three weeks, through one-on-one interactive learning sessions the progress made was unbelievable, not only in terms of their knowledge but also in terms of their confidence and willingness to learn. To see their faces light up when they learnt something new and to see the joy this bought them.

We showed them that education is the gateway to everything and I know the school will continue to implement the techniques we used to make education enjoyable and useful. I have never met children so enthusiastic and hard working, they showed me endless love and I will miss them everyday as the happiness they bought to me is unmeasurable.

Thank you so so much to everyone who sponsored me, allowing me to make a long lasting impact on these children so they can make their own choices in life and have an education which they deserve.” 

Sophie Labat

University Of Leeds

Summer 2018 Project

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