A supply teacher is getting ready for the experience of a lifetime - helping to make a difference to thousands of orphans in Vietnam.
Stephanie Harvey, aged 53, from Dronfield, will fly to south east Asia in October, to spend four weeks teaching children basic English, arts, crafts, music and sports.
She already works with children with special needs, and hopes her background will help her communicate with Vietnamese children.
“I often use visual and experiential techniques when working with children with special needs,” she said. “I hope that will be extremely helpful in Vietnam, to help me overcome the language barrier.”
Stephanie said her age means she is not the typical volunteer abroad.
“I am very mindful there will be lots of gap year students,” she said, “but I’m really looking forward to mixing with people of all different ages.”
Stephanie will be funding her own travel costs and has paid over £1,000 to make volunteering possible.
She said the inspiration for her trip, organised by the Global Volunteer Network, was seeing birth defects Vietnamese children still suffer as a result of the Americans’ use of chemicals during the Vietnam War.
She has been preparing for her trip by listening to translations on her iPod but added: “I don’t know what to expect. I’m hoping they’ll meet me halfway when it comes to speaking their language.”
Global Volunteer Network founder Colin Salisbury said: “Stephanie will be working five days a week, and will be provided simple living arrangements. Her dedication, and the impact she will have, is noteworthy.”