AN INSPIRATIONAL volunteer who travelled to Ethiopia to help some of the world's most deprived communities is hoping to encourage others to take the plunge.

Sujana Regmi, from Earley, recently returned from a life-changing experience in Africa after spending 10 weeks volunteering with International Citizen Service (ICS) scheme.

The 23-year-old worked alongside young Ethiopian volunteers on a project to improve education and provide support for local organisations.

She also lived with a host family to fully immerse herself with the culture and enhance her appreciation of the daily challenges they face.

Sujana said: “My time in Ethiopia has opened my eyes and now I am keen to share and encourage my local community to be more giving.

"Our lives here are very privileged and most of us don't really see the struggles of lack of water, lack of internet, or even lack of food as we live in country where there is help readily available if we need.

"We spend nearly half of our time lost in the internet when one fraction of that time could be used to make our own community better."

ICS allows young people to contribute to sustainable development projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America and Sujana is hoping to put her skills to good use by raising awareness for issues such as poverty.

Before travelling to Ethiopia, Sujana raised more than £1,100 for the Volunteer Service Overseas, but she did not need any money or qualifications to go on the trip.

She added: "I learned the biggest and the most sustainable way of making a difference in the developing community is education, especially young adults and children, as they hold a key to the way the future will unfold.

"However, it also made me realise how our community is lacking in many things, such as community bonding and helping one another.

"You do not have to go to Africa to make a difference. There is so much you can do to help the community we live in, such as volunteering."