Ilford woman encourages others to volunteer abroad after working in Rwanda

Hannah Okunola in Munazi villiage carrying bamboo for the roof of a tree nursery.

Hannah Okunola in Munazi villiage carrying bamboo for the roof of a tree nursery. - Credit: Archant

An Ilford volunteer who worked with farmers in Rwanda to help protect their crops from climate change is encouraging more people to volunteer abroad.

Hannah Okunlola, 29, is now working in international development after her time with the International Citizen Service (ICS) in Africa last year.

She was the team leader for groups of 18-25-year-olds in the ICS working on a project with famers run by development charity Tearfund.

The group worked to help three pineapple farming associations to reduce risk to their crops from climate change and natural disasters.

They also worked with the Munazi community to build a tree nursery to combat malnutrition and soil erosion.

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Hannah said: “I wanted to do something outside of my comfort zone and this opportunity provided me with just that, as I got to lead a team who I had never worked with before, in a country I had never lived in before, which was a very exciting prospect.”

She said the experience “opened up many doors” and helped towards her career.

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ICS volunteers contribute to long-term projects in 28 developing countries.

Anyone aged over 23 with experience working with young people and good organisational skills can apply.

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