Aimee Goodship and Scott Bond, both 17, have been selected to teach in schools in Africa and Asia for a year, under the guidance of the Scottish educational charity Project Trust.
Based in the picturesque island of Coll in the Inner Hebrides, Project Trust has been organising 8-12 month voluntary placements for 17-19 year olds to destinations all around the world for 50 years.
Volunteers make a valuable contribution to their host country, teaching English and other skills to children and exchanging cultural values, which then earns them a national qualification in international volunteering on their return.
Aimee said she was elated to have been given the opportunity to live and work in South Africa for a year.
She told us; “When I think about the idea of teaching in a South African school in just a few months, I can’t actually put into words how excited I am.
“This is an incredible opportunity for me to make a positive impact ... and have the adventure of a lifetime.”
Scott will be taking up a similar opportunity to work in less developed areas of Thailand for a year and is “absolutely buzzing”.
He said: “I’m excited to take all the opportunities that come my way and can’t wait to explore the new environment and culture around me”.
In the meantime, both Scott and Aimee have no small task ahead of them: to raise more than £6,200 each before July, which pays for their flights and accommodation.
Both have set up a Virgin Money Giving page and have organised a number of fundraising events for the next few months.
Scott has already held a ‘Twenties Night’ in Darnick, and Aimee held a Christmas raffle at the school, which got them off to a strong start.
Both will also be partaking in the Glasgow Kiltwalk on April 26, as well as holding a Race Night together at the Corn Exchange, Melrose, on March 28.
Both pupils are now preparing to hold a series of bake sales and ceilidhs.
Aimee is holding a ceilidh and disco at the Corn Exchange next Saturday, February 15 at 7.15pm. It will be an evening packed with music provided by local band Jigtime, and up-and-coming singers Evan Anderson and the Dylan Paterson band.
Scott will be following hot on Aimee’s heels with his Leap Year ceilidh on Saturday, February 29, also in the Melrose Corn Exchange, from 7-11pm . There will be a live band with food and drink on the side. He is also hosting an 80’s disco later in the year in Darnick village hall after the success of his 1920s themed party.
The easiest way to buy a ticket for any of their events, or simply to send them a good luck wish, is to donate directly to Aimee’s and Scott’s Virgin Money Giving pages and pick up prepaid tickets on the door.
Tickets for Aimee’s ceilidh are £10 / £8 concession in advance at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/AimeeGoodship, or all £12 on the door.
For more information on Aimee’s events or how to buy tickets, phone or text 0778 037 8590.
You can also follow Aimee’s progress on her Facebook page by searching for ‘Goodship Goes Global’.
Ticket for Scott’s ceilidh are £15 in advance and can again be bought by donation to uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ScottBond1 . For more information on how to buy tickets, email him at [email protected]
Call Scott for more information on 07415 195028.
Both pupils hope their experience with Project Trust will give them a renewed energy and perspective when they arrive back home in August 2021 to embark on their respective careers.
Scott said: “I may never come back, but if I do, I’ll be attempting to get into art college and following my passion for art.
“Thailand will hopefully give me a completely new take on life, inspiring my art and the way I see the world.”
Aimee has had an ambition to study acting at drama school since she was 10 and is currently working towards her final performance as one of the lead principles in the Earlston High School summer show in June.
She said: “My ultimate ambition is still to get into drama school, but who knows?
“My perspective might be so changed by my experience in South Africa, I might get the travel bug instead.”
One thing Aimee and Scott are certain of; “Whatever is waiting for us when we return in August 2021, at least we’ll have a class tan.”