AN INSPIRING young woman who spent 11 weeks volunteering in Tanzania with some of the world’s poorest communities is calling on others to take the plunge.

Hannah Mortimer, from Earley, helped fight poverty in Africa through the International Citizen Service with a focus on education in secondary schools.

The 22-year-old lived with a local family to full immerse herself in the culture and taught the community valuable communication skills.

She said: “I learnt so much about Tanzanian culture and developed as a person too.

“Besides increasing my confidence, I have gained a greater understanding of cultural differences and become more flexible and adaptable in new situations.

“I want to spread the message about how volunteering can help one develop so much as a person whilst helping those who are less fortunate than ourselves.

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“My advice for fellow volunteers is to be positive, stay calm and just embrace difference. Only this way will you become truly immersed in another culture.”

Before Hannah travelled to Tanzania she raised £800 for Voluntary Service Overseas, which will help developing countries continue to benefit from the work of future volunteers.

The former Piggott School pupil plans to sign up for a postgraduate course in anthropology after being inspired by her time away from home.

She will also be taking on an ‘Action at Home’ project, ensuring her new skills also benefit the local community.

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