The Lady Downe Charity

How the Lady Downe Trust Grants Aided Me:

Throughout my university career, I received various grants from the Trust. The grants helped me tremendously. During my first year I was able to use it to pay for textbooks and other supplies during my first year. I also used the grant as my deposit for my London flat as well as a bit of living expenses during my internship at a start-up. This was carried over to be used for various house deposits. Finally, the grant paid for my air tickets and some rent for my academic exchange semester at NTU in Singapore. The support from Lady Downe meant that I was able to take full advantage of my degree, with less financial stress. These experiences have taught me so much and put me in a very advantageous position going forward in my career.

 

With the assistance of a small grant from the Lady Downe Charity, I went abroad for a week this summer with a group, to help run a youth activity camp for disadvantaged children. It was the most incredible and thought provoking time, allowing us to reflect on how fortunate we are and how the simplest gesture of care can mean so much. From Saturday to Wednesday we led sports with the children, including dodgeball, volleyball and duck, duck, goose which we managed to learn in the local language (pateshka, pateshka, guska). It was amazing seeing how we connected with the children through sport despite the language barrier. We taught the children lots of English songs such as heads, shoulders, knees and toes and in return the young people taught us traditional dances which took a very similar form to Irish dancing! On Thursday and Friday we visited the villages where lots of the children lived; the stark poverty and shocking living conditions were very hard to process especially when the young people had such joy despite coming from so little. We took part in face painting the younger children, which they loved, alongside "flying" which involved throwing the kids in the air and catching them with lots of laughter included! It was so interesting learning the culture of these children who suffer mass discrimination whilst attending school due to their upbringing in their communities and the darker colour of their skin. Their resilience is inspirational and we came home with huge respect for the dedication the children have to receive an education. Alongside our youth group, we delivered a "baby box" to a family in the village who had welcomed a newborn baby boy in the past month. The box contained lots of necessities that the family couldn't otherwise afford, such as clothes, milk powder, bottles and nappies; it was remarkable seeing the joy on the family's face after accepting this box and we were extremely privileged to be able to pray for the safety and provision for the family. The entire week was incredibly eye-opening; we flew home with fuller hearts and a deeper understanding of what it means to love others regardless of our background.

© The Lady Downe Charity. Registered Charity No. 286577.