A young volunteer spent a "life changing" eight weeks living in one of the world's poorest communities while helping to improve the education of teenagers.

Laura Middleton, 18, from Watford, has returned from Ethiopia where she worked alongside other volunteers helping to fight poverty.

Hillingdon Times:

Working on a project run by VSO, part of the International Citizen Service (ICS), Laura focussed on the pupils livelihood and education.

She helped provide maths tutorials for 16 to 18-year-olds in preparation for their national and university entrance exams. She also worked to educate young women on the importance of sexual health.

Laura, a former pupil at Rickmansworth School, immersed herself into the community living with a family to gain a better understanding of the challenges people face.

Hillingdon Times:

Laura said: “I had an absolutely amazing time in Ethiopia. In the community there were several young women getting pregnant at a young age and being marginalised by society due to a lack of education on Sexual Reproductive Health, so we provided sessions in both English and Amharic for young women.

"In countries like Ethiopia, this issue is not addressed in schools so we thought it was greatly important that we help to educate these young women so that they can fulfil their full potential. I also loved experiencing a new culture and made some friends for life.''

Hillingdon Times:

Now back home, Laura will be taking on an Action at Home project, where she plans to work with charities that aim to abolish poverty worldwide.

If you are interested in volunteering with ICS, visit www.volunteerics.org

ICS if funded by UK aid and is aimed at volunteers between the ages of 18-25.

Hillingdon Times: