Donside student is Jamaica bound

Alford student Karen Thomson, 20, needs funding to embark on a volunteering trip to Jamaica in May.
Alford student Karen Thomson, 20, needs funding to embark on a volunteering trip to Jamaica in May.

A young Donside woman is hoping to raise enough money to allow her to embark on a volunteering trip to Jamaica.

Karen Thomson, from Alford, needs £4,500 to travel to Mandeville, Jamaica, with the Projects Abroad company for three months from May.

The 20-year-old will be living and working in a local community, making a valuable contribution to the work in the field of Child Rights Initiative, and she will also receive unique insight and experience in various government agencies and professionals and work in areas of children’s rights.

Karen, a student at Glasgow University, will be doing a journalism project followed by the Child Rights Initiative. She will also gain an insight into the workings of the media in a new cultural and political setting and ultimately gain invaluable work experience that will increase her prospects.

Karen has raised £1,700 so far, but is struggling to raise the rest in time for departing.

She said: “Projects Abroad only send their volunteers to areas where there is a genuine need in the host country for them.

“I won’t be staying in the tourist destinations people often know the country for. In this developing area I will be staying with a Jamaican host family.

“Of course, I can’t wait to see what I learn from them, and their beautiful, joyous culture, as well as from my work placement.

“For the first month I am spending in Jamaica I will be involved in a Child Rights Initiative.

Following my training, I will be working on ‘Protection Rights’: assisting with cases of child abuse, neglect and abandonment. The role involves counselling children, and investigating and ensuring their welfare.

“I am very analytical by nature, and will approach this project with the mature, intelligent and measured approach it needs.

I study psychology, but the amount I will learn from this month will be beyond the theories in my textbooks.

“After working in this placement I will volunteering in a cross-section of journalistic media for a further two months.

“I will be working in print, radio and television broadcasting.

I plan to use what I’ve learned from the child rights project to write frankly and sensitively about the situation.

“I am not just driven by my career ambitions, I want to influence as much as I can for the better in my time there.”

If you would like to help Karen reach her target, she has fundraising page at: