Volunteers 2010

Hello! We are the undergraduate team of 2010 who are dedicated to the coastal fishing village of KIrelawela.

Much of our time is being spent in this village, but we are also returning to Durham’s previous communities in the villages of Palana, Rassandeniya, Gandarawatte and Hiththatiya.

We are a Team selected from departments all across the University, and here you can read our personal introductions.

Kirelawela students 2010

We are:

Joe Brooke

Hello! My name is Joe and I am a finalist history student from Van Mildert College. I am really excited about my summer in Sri Lanka, and all the brilliant people that I will meet and amazing scenery that I will be able to visit: a new culture to be discovered! I hope to be able to impart some of my knowledge upon others, whilst also having different ideas and concepts imparted upon myself. The ‘Sri Lankan experience’ will undoubtedly have a lasting effect upon myself, and the rest of the team.

Abi Burns

Hi, my name is Abi Burns and I’m a first year undergraduate studying Zoology at Durham University. My interests include sports such as tennis and swimming, and I play the piano and cello which are always good fun. I’m greatly looking forward to spending my summer in Sri Lanka, helping the community of Kirelawela as much as possible as well as learning from the people there about their different ways of life. I feel very honoured to be given this opportunity and I hope I can bring to the project some useful skills and attributes.

Liam Day

My name is Liam Day and I am a first year Physics student studying at Hatfield College, Durham. Having done some volunteering on my gap year, I have realised how much I can help people who are in need, and how important it is that i do so. I am particularly looking forward to volunteering in Sri Lanka. I can’t wait to learn about, and experience the lifestyle of the Sri Lankan people. I hope to make some great friends and make a valuable contribution to the local community whilst I’m there.

Neesha Devgan

Hey, I’m Neesha Devgan & I’m from Josephine Butler College. I’m a third year student reading for a Sociology degree, (hopefully) graduating this summer – the day before we fly out to Sri Lanka! Hobbies of mine include reading, music & socialising.

I applied to join the team on Project Sri Lanka as it’s a fantastic opportunity where, not only can I pursue my love of travelling, I can also make a valuable contribution to the local community. I really want to get involved & get my hands ‘dirty’, instead of just hearing about it and leaving it for others to do.

After going on similar trips to India, I have an appreciation of the benefits such a trip has & I would like to be able to build on my skills & experiences & help others where I can. Previous voluntary work has shown me what a great positive impact we can have on a community, and I would like to put my skills to the test and offer support to the people of Sri Lanka.

The opportunity to go to such a beautiful country whilst doing something worthwhile at the same time is a chance that I couldn’t miss! I feel Sri Lanka will be challenging & a life changing experience, helping me to be a stronger person.

I think Project Sri Lanka will be a very worthwhile & rewarding experience & a great platform from which to start life after uni!!

Nicola Farley

Hi, I’m Nicola Farley, a 2nd year BA geography student from St Aidan’s College. I am really looking forward to my time in Sri Lanka as it will be a choice to experience a whole new culture. I wanted to be part of Project Sri Lanka as it is a fantastic project that makes a difference and is sustainable in its aims and objectives. I think this summer be both a challenging yet a very rewarding one.

William Grimes

I am a first year student at Hatfield College studying for a degree in Natural Sciences, specialising in Maths, Physics and Earth Sciences. I really enjoy travelling and find Asia fascinating, with such huge contrast between Europe. I am very interested in Buddhist philosophy and would love to learn more about Buddhism and see how it affects people’s everyday lives in Sri Lanka. I hope during the project I can learn lots about Sri Lankan culture and I especially look forward to trying Sri Lankan cuisine.

My hobbies include rowing and running, I am currently training to run a marathon which is great fun and very challenging. I think the Project will be very rewarding and hopefully improve many people’s lives in the long term.

Lauren Harrison

Hi, I’m Lauren and a first year History student at Trevs (Trevelyan College). I’m really looking forward to working with a project that has a sustainable impact and getting to know the people of Kirelawela over the summer. Hopefully I can make a positive difference to their lives and I look forward to meeting them and working on the project!

Alice Hillen

Hi, my name is Alice Hillen. I am an Aidanite studying Biology and Maths within the Natural Sciences programme.

I am really looking forward to the unique opportunities that Project Sri Lanka offers. I am excited to experience a completely new culture especially dance and music as these are where my interests lie. Sustainable aid can often be overlooked; I am proud to be part of Project Sri Lanka whose aims are long term. Currently I volunteer at a primary school in Durham. I am really excited to use what I know to help where it is needed. Most of all, I hope it will be a fun, challenging and rewarding experience!

Rebecca Jowett

Hi, I’m Becky Jowett, a third year history student at Hatfield College. I am relishing the opportunity to combine my desire to travel, experience new cultures and work closely with the village community in Sri Lanka. Helping to provide long-term sustainable change whilst experiencing a country of environmental diversity and cultural heritage is both an exciting and an opportunity, something I am really looking forward to!

Charlotte Kertrestel

I’m Charlotte Kertrestel and I am a first year History student from Josephine Butler College. I am really looking forward to travelling to Sri Lanka and cannot wait to get involved within the local community of Kirelawela. Although the project will have its challenges, I am excited about having the opportunity to explore a new culture, which I hope will inspire me to continue my travels in the future. I look forward to meeting new people along the way, both from Durham and Kirelawela, and know that this summer will definitely be one to remember!

Kara Marshall

Hi, I’m Kara a second year English student from Collingwood College. I cannot wait to go to Sri Lanka to experience a completely new culture and live and work within a Sri Lankan community. I have no doubt it will be an eye-opening experience and very challenging but I am keen to get underway with the project and make a marked difference in a village that desperately requires our skills and time. I think that this summer is going to be a very special one.

Rachel Rodgers

My name is Rachel Rodgers and I am a second year psychology student from St. Cuthbert’s Society.

At university I play football, hockey and cricket at a college level as well as spending a lot of time doing various things for DUCK.

It was from working with DUCK that I heard about Project Sri Lanka and I am very excited for getting out to Sri Lanka this summer and getting to see first hand where the money DUCK raises goes and being actively involved, and I hope I can use my passion for sport to immerse myself within the community.

Laura Thurman

Hi! My name is Laura Thurman and I am a mature student in my first year of a Primary Education degree. A few years ago, I read an extract in a book that said: ‘before you can change the world, let the world change you’, words that moved me deeply. Prior to starting my degree, I worked for a charity in Pakistan, dedicated to opening a school for children affected by the earthquake of 2005. This experience undoubtedly changed the course of my life and is what inspired me to begin my teaching degree. I can’t wait for the challenges and learning that await me in Sri Lanka and I have no doubt that they will affect my life in a similarly profound way. I hope that my time in Sri Lanka will be the beginning of many long-lasting friendships and connections with the people still living in the shadow of the Tsunami. And perhaps in a small way, the Teams hard work might change the lives of the people of Kirelawela for the better too.

Dhanya Williams

My name is Dhanya Williams and I am a third-year history student. I applied for Project Sri Lanka for many reasons but mostly because I wanted to get involved with DUCK before I graduate from Durham. Of all the projects DUCK is associated with, Project Sri Lanka was a fairly straightforward choice for me since my mother is Sri Lankan, so I can see myself making a long term commitment to the project beyond this summer. I am especially looking forward to experiencing rural Sri Lanka in total immersion, hopefully using music and dance to engage with the local community.

Ni Zhou

Hi my name is Ni Zhou and I am a first-year law student from College of St. Hild and St. Bede. I enjoy singing and making handicrafts in my spare time. I am always looking forward to traveling around the world to experience different cultures and my ideal is to become a legal aid volunteer of the United Nations.

Six years after the 2004 tsunami, Southern Sri Lanka still needs reconstruction and regeneration of devastated communities and long term sustainable development. This is my pleasure to get involved in this charitable and worthwhile project and I am excited about this coming special experience!