Meet Charlotte, a student in her final year at the University of Central Lancashire studying Neuroscience and planning to continue her education by pursuing a doctorate in psychology. This past summer, Charlotte spent a month volunteering with Bobbi Bear in Durban, South Africa. She was kind enough to share her experience in South Africa with us, but before we dive into that, let’s get to know Charlotte a little bit better.
Charlotte’s interest in Bobbi Bear came from her passion for justice for sexual harassment and assault victims. She had past experiences volunteering in a local dance school, where she was able to work with children and develop leadership and communication skills that would come into play during her time in South Africa. She also had previous experience working with children with learning and physical disabilities. When we asked Charlotte what inspired her to volunteer abroad, she told us that she wanted to take advantage of “a once in a lifetime opportunity to really make a difference in vulnerable people’s lives”. She was also excited to take part in an experience she couldn’t get at home.
Before Charlotte left, we wanted to get an idea of what she was looking forward to at Bobbi Bear and what she expected from the experience overall. She told us that out of the experience, she hoped to “help children that don’t have anyone else to turn to and make a positive impact on their lives by helping them deal with traumatic incidents and their effect on psychological functioning”. Whilst at Bobbi Bear, Charlotte hoped to gain hands-on experience in psychology that she could directly apply to her future career. She imagined she would do this through shadowing counselors, interacting with and aiding children that had been sexually abused, and educating and informing other young people that were vulnerable to such assaults on how to get help.
Charlotte’s passion for helping others and her drive to prepare for her career made her the perfect volunteer for Vocational Impact. We sent her off to South Africa and eagerly awaited to hear her stories when she returned. Next week, we’ll share those stories with you!
If Charlotte sounds a lot like you and you’re interested to learn about volunteering and psychology, read more here.