Students from the Institute of Science and the Environment will become graduates of the University of Worcester today, including one who will be spending the day 6000 miles away.
Nora Farkas, originally from Hungary, is currently in the middle of a three-month volunteering placement in Bolivia, where she is working for the International Citizen Service (ICS), with the aim of helping to reduce inequalities in the developing world.
Nora explains: “The main aim of the ICS is to achieve long term development by working together with local people and understanding their needs. During my time in Bolivia, I will be working with a local organisation, Aldeas Infantiles, whose main purpose is to support children to build their own future and develop their own communities.
“I’ll be working in children’s centres to support mothers and help with the children’s development, particularly focusing on nutrition. This will include giving parents information on growing their own vegetables and helping families construct and maintain their own greenhouses.”
Nora, who says she has always had an interest in global issues and different cultures, believes her Geography degree has given her a greater level of understanding of the processes which shape societies, and the potential career paths open to her.
She continues: “All the exercises I’ve had during the past three years have helped me to broaden my knowledge and to gain extra skills. I am very grateful to my lecturers, as they made things interesting and exciting, and seeing the projects they had previously worked on motivated and encouraged me further.”
Situated in the heart of the South American continent, Bolivia is rich in minerals, but remains one of the poorest countries in the region, with over a third of its ten million population thought to be living in ‘extreme poverty’.
When her three-month stint in the country comes to an end later this year, Nora hopes to continue working in the developing world.
“I would like to carry on working on development projects,” she says. “After Bolivia, I will probably apply for a group leader position with ICS, which means taking responsibility for a whole project.
“I’m looking forward to gaining new skills and experiences which I can use for my own projects in the future. Studying at the University of Worcester highly influenced my future plans as it gave me the right knowledge, and allowed us to use this knowledge in practical ways.”