Cornish teenager in trip-of-a-lifetime

Hannah Carnegie dresses up to raise money for trip-of-a-lifetime
Hannah Carnegie dresses up to raise money for trip-of-a-lifetime

Hannah focuses on charitable career after Tanzanian trip-of-a-lifetime

A Cornish teenager who spent 10 weeks living and working in Tanzania says the experience has helped cement her desire to work with charitable organisations.

Eighteen-year-old Hannah Carnegie spent her first ever trip away from home in the East African country teaching youngsters living in poverty the skills needed to help set up their own business and pitch for funding.

The project was a part government-funded International Citizen Service expedition organised in conjunction with Raleigh International.

Hannah, from Stoke Climsland, said: “In the future I want to work in the charitable sector and wanted to experience it first hand. I don’t believe you can be passionate about it until you actually see for yourself.”

The 10 weeks were spent living with a host family without modern day home comforts such as running water or flushing toilet.

Hannah said: “The hardest thing was no contact with home. I’ve not really been away from home on my own for more than a week before.

“We were living in a homestay with a local family. It was very basic; a mattress, bed and a little concrete room where we had a bucket for showering and a hole in the ground for the toilet. On our first morning we were woken at 6am by the ‘mama’ who asked if we’d help hand wash all the floors!

“I was the youngest in my team and when I was asked how I slept the first night, I burst into tears. I didn’t thing I’d be able to do the full 10 weeks at first.

“It really made me appreciate things like being able to turn a tap on, flushing toilets and how great it is not to have to wash your hair in a bucket or your clothes in a river. Things you never really think about.”

During her stay Hannah and her team helped coach youngsters about business skills and help them pitch for funding from Raleigh International.

“It was all to do with the dairy industry, transporting and selling milk. One of the people received grant funding was setting up a compound feeding system. We also had talks from the East African Dairy Development Association about hygiene practices.

“When I first got there I thought I’d never be able to cope, but within a week you just adapt. In fact when I got back to Heathrow I couldn’t remember how to work the tap handles in the toilet or how to work Facebook!

“The whole experience made me realise that there is also so much we need to do in the UK. We regard ourselves as a developed country but we still have people living on the streets. I want to do more to help and, since being back, have already started volunteering with the local toddler group and local Foodbank organisation. I’d definitely recommend it, it’s a great thing to do and have on your CV.”

Inspired by her adventure, in February, Hannah will spend four months travelling Vietnam, Australia, Fiji, New York and Canada before returning to the UK to further her career on a four year university course in Marketing and Advertising at Coventry University.