The Lionel White Scholarship award provides financial support for young people from the Aberystwyth area wishing to travel abroad for humanitarian and experience-widening purposes. The fund was created with a capital gift from Past President Lionel White, following his death some years ago. The interest from this capital fund, plus weekly income from the clubs’ lunchtime raffle usually provides sufficient income to fund this award.
Anyone up to and including the age of 23 on the 31st of January 2021 with a permanent address in Aberystwyth (or its immediate catchment area) may apply. Applications are invited from school, college and university students, although it must be emphasised that an Aberystwyth student address does not meet the qualifying criteria.
There must be a clear-cut purpose for the visit.
1.The fund is primarily for young persons who wish to undertake humanitarian work overseas or in the UK. The normal pattern will be to take up a placement offered by a registered charity in the fields of health, education, child care and concern for the environment. Such charities often require applicants to raise substantial sums towards meeting their costs. Applications for overseas travel without humanitarian focus will not be considered.
2.Group visits overseas and in the UK can also be considered (for example, scout and guide jamborees, school exchange visits) and, if there is a humanitarian focus, they can be considered alongside applications from individuals. Where there is not a humanitarian focus, such applications will only be considered if, and when, sufficient resources are available and after all applications with a humanitarian focus have been considered.
There is no application form. Anyone interested is invited to submit a written application which should include a Curriculum Vitae and full details of the purpose of the visit and how the candidate personally expects to benefit from the experience. If the proposed visit is organised by a humanitarian or charitable organisation, any supporting literature provided by the organisation and the project should be included with the application.
Applications for 2020 are now closed.
Applicants for the next awards which will take place in the summer of 2021 should be made to Rotarian Geraint Thomas, Hafod, 11 Crugyn Dimai, Rhydyfelin, Aberystwyth, SY23 3PR, or by email to email@example.com by 31st JANUARY 2021
Previous successful applicants
2012 Ella Fletcher – Zambia
2013 Conor Berner – Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands
2013 Peter Johnson – Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands
2014 Ceridwen Lewis – Bangladesh
2015 Tesni Clare – Costa Rica
2016 Hannah Glasser – Madagascar
2017 Ffion Edwards – Uganda,
2017 Rowena Dennison – Panama
2018 Francesca Reyers – Sri Lanka
2018 Angharad Lewis – Tanzania
2018 Rachel Donnison – Fiji
2019 Freya Clare – Cambodia
2019 Owain Feasey – Malaysia – Worked with Project Trust teaching primary/secondary schools.
2019 Elin Wallace – Peru
2019 Jasmine Shao – Kenya or Uganda – Worked for EP Africa. The project entailed ten weeks at a rural secondary school where the aim is to improve the health and education of the children.
2020 It was decided to award 4 Lionel White Scholarships this year but due to the Covid 19 Pandemic, circumstances have severely affected the progress of our four chosen scholars. Here is a brief report on each of the 4 students.
Emily Thomas - Emily did arrive in a Cambodia safely and had spent some time touring and was ready to start her voluntary work in a school there when she was told to plan her return.She has confirmed that as soon as it is possible, the school in Cambodia will be pleased to welcome her back as soon as the Coronavirus is under control. Emily is hopeful that she can recoup the high costs incurred in returning early.
Eleanor Williams - Eleanor’s voluntary work in South Africa was cancelled. Chester University is rearranging the visit in May 2021 and Eleanor is eager to volunteer next year. As yet she has not received her scholarship.
Penny Lewis - Penny’s planned visit to Victoria Falls later this year are now on hold. She is very determined to fulfil her wishes to undertake voluntary work as soon as travel restrictions across the world are lifted. Penny has not received her scholarship until all her plans are confirmed.
Siwan Fflur Davies - Siwan did get to Malawi to start her 3 month voluntary work with Tearfund but unfortunately she also had to return home due to the pandemic. Siwan is very eager to complete her voluntary period and she hopes to return to Malawi during the 2021 summer vacation.
A summary of reports from previous years successful Lionel White scholars
2019 - Elin Wallace - Peru
Elin , a former Ysgol Penweddig student, went to Peru with her friend Hanna, with Globalteer, a charity involved in volunteer placements abroad. Elin was based in the small town of Oropesa, some 15 miles from Cusco, working in a local school which was entirely dependent on private foundations, without state funding. Her day-to-day programme involved holding classes and bonding with the children, taking advantage of her fluency in Spanish, which was the second language of most of the local population alongside the indigenous Quechua. Hygiene and personal welfare were emphasised at the school ; children were given a free lunch and a piece of fruit to take home. The work also involved helping with the upkeep of the garden, which Elin admitted was “difficult in the Peruvian heat”. During her spare time, she had an opportunity to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Machu Picchu, and had experienced an overnight stay on an island in Lake Titikaka.
2019 – Freya Clare – Cambodia
Freya undertook a three-month visit to Cambodia, where she worked on an educational project – the ‘Christina English school’ which had been set up at the initiative of a local man. As a volunteer worker at the school, Freya gained valuable teaching experience with over 130 students, rangeing from the lower and higher intemediate levels to teaching English to adult learners. The educational programme involved holding quarterly tests to monitor students’ progress in reading, writing, listening and speaking. Much of the teaching was carried out through role-playing and games, in little bamboo huts. Freya described the Cambodian people she met as particularly friendly and welcoming, who like to invite visitors to their local events. She herself had the opportunity to attend a traditional wedding ceremony. Cambodia was, she said, doing everything possible to rebuild and recover from its dark history as a war-torn country.
2018 – Rachel Donnison – Fiji
Rachel visited Fiji under the ‘Think Pacific’ project, a Fijian charitable trust which aims to empower disadvantaged young people to overcome poverty and achieve holistic health, to improve their education and their sports development. The visit had involved staying in a traditional village, meeting families, visiting schools and ‘shadowing’ teachers. It had given her an insight into the way of life and customs of the Fijian people. Interestingly, although the Fijian language is widely spoken in community life and in church services, it appears that English is the main medium of teaching in schools.The ‘project’ ran a healthcare workshop, emphasising the importance of a balanced diet and educating on health issues such as heart attacks and strokes, and the treatment of cuts and bruises. Rachel had enjoyed contributing to work in the classroom, whilst benefiting from a new and different cultural environment, and was grateful to Rotary for the support that had enabled her to undertake the visit. It was, she said, “an experience and a challenge, rather than a holiday –but a lot of fun”.
2018 – Annie Lewis – Tanzania
Tanzania is a poor country with a population of some 55 million, many existing on less than £1 a day with life expectancy is 62 years. Annie’s first placement was in the Muhimbili Orthopaedic Institute in Dar es Salaam where she saw patients with injuries following road traffic accidents and from work in the construction and logging industries. Swahili was the principal local language so Annie had to use a ‘phone app for translation purposes! Her second placement was a week in a remote village called Kidodi, an eight-hour bus journey south west of Dar es Salaam Annie stayed with a family, both the parents were nurses and unusually for the area, their house had secure walls. The diet was predominantly starch based and consisted of grains and potatoes.
Annie described how patients could be left outside accident and emergency wards until they had paid up front. Only the well-educated and wealthy would be treated promptly. For childbirth, which Annie observed in Kidodi, services were quite under developed. Women could not afford pain relief and were left very much to their own devices during labour. In hospital, informed consent for treatment was not practiced. Patients often go first to local healers in their community. Infection control was haphazard.
2017 Ffion Edwards – Uganda
Ffion completed a three week placement working with the East African Playgrounds charity helping build a children’s playground in Uganda. In doing so, she not only learned valuable building techniques such as mixing concrete, planning wood and cleaning tiles, but also worked with teachers and schoolchildren to maximise the impact of the playground on the local community. The construction period itself aroused much curiosity amongst local children and it was a major event for the town when the playground was eventually opened. She especially enjoyed teaching the children playground games from Wales and being able to participate in theirs. The charity prides itself on its ongoing relationship with its partner communities to ensure high standards and continuity of use for the benefit of the children in very deprived areas.
2016 Hannah Glasser – Madagascar.
Hannah described Madagascar as a very poor country of 24 million people, 70% of whom have an income of less than $1 per day, and has an adult literacy rate of only 60%.
She spent several weeks teaching at a local school in the remote north west of the country. Facilities there were very basic indeed but the children and adults she taught there were enthusiastic and eager to learn, despite the occasional knee-high water in the classroom after a major storm. The community was extremely welcoming to the team of volunteers working there and largely self-sufficient in food, particularly so as the nearest village was a 40 minute walk away over rough tracks only passable at low tide. The closest town as we would recognise it was several hours away by boat.
Part of her time there involved undertaking environmental surveys of amphibian and reptile species in the forests and comparative studies of lemur behaviour in protected areas and the wild. The data collected was input each day as part of a major ongoing research project on the island.In between times, she managed some wonderful trips to exotic and beautiful locations on the island and made some friends for life from many different countries.
2015 Tesni Claire – Costa Rica
Tesni worked on a conservation project in Costa Rica , Central America . The country has one of the most progressive environmental policies in the world where 25% of the country’s area is in protected National Parks one of which is Corcovado renowned for its biodiversity
Tesni’s main task was to survey the wild life in some of the parks which meant an early start particularly to study the bird population –the scarlet macaw and the keel-billed toucan are particularly exotic.
Another early morning task was to record the species types and activities of primates. There are four species of monkey including the endangered spider monkey. These primates also face threats for example from the black market pet trade.
Tesni also took part in patrols of the olive and green turtle, the latter is becoming endangered. The threats here are removal of eggs from their nests, poaching and ingestion of plastic litter. Turtles travel up to 2,000km from their nest to their feeding sites but always return to the same place to lay eggs which can number a hundred a night. To curb population decline, turtle hatcheries have been established.
2014 Ceridwen Lewis – Bangladesh
Ceridwen spent three months working on community projects in Rangpur, Bangladesh with Polli Sree, a Human and women’s rights campaign, A small country, but the world’s eighth most populous with 180 million, it is flooded for 80% of the time. Ceridwen lived with a host family and got used to curried meals three times daily. Traditional dress was adopted with a sarong on celebration days and some Bengali was learnt. She also did some protesting on behalf of women particularly for the very poor and low caste Hindi.
For the remaining three months in Edinburgh she volunteered with Stepping Stones, a charity that provides support for people with mental health problems. Her art background enabled her to set up art workshops as well as using a new skill – making curries.Ceridwen thanked the Club for their financial support, adding that she is using the experience gained as a Global Xchange volunteer working as a Refugee Support for the British Red Cross as a voluntary asylum case worker based in London.
2013 – Conor Berner & Peter Johnson – Ecuador and the Galapagos islands
Conor Berner from Talybont and Peter John from Rhydyfelin, both former Penglais School pupils went on a ten week visit to Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands and the Andes. The first three weeks were spent in Santa Domingo, Ecuador working on a reforestation project and building ecological toilets. Two new toilets were constructed with a bamboo frame and roofed with leaves. When the 6 metre hole was full after two years it provided compost. In their free time they played football with local tribe members or swam in the river which was the only washing provision. Tribe members showed off their traditional dress which included dying their hair red using crushed seeds.
In the Galapagos they worked for three weeks on a farm which included herding and milking the cows, clearing an area for a plant nursery and with machetes, removing invasive plants which threatened native species. The boys did their own cooking – because it came from mainland Ecuador, food was expensive though the Wednesday Pizzas were a treat.
In a town in the Andes they dug channels for pipe work for six hour stretches conveying water to houses. Time was also spent helping in the local school as well as learning some Spanish.
2012 Ella Fletcher – Zambia
Ella Fletcher, a sports science and geography student at Loughborough University spent six weeks in Zambia with the IDEALS project- International Development through Excellence and Leadership in Sport. Ella was one of sixteen students from seven UK universities supported by Sport in Action and Edusport , two NGOs whose purpose is to improve people’s quality of life through sport and recreational activities .
Ella specialized in netball, football and volley ball in six schools integrated with the message of HIV and AIDS, drug and alcohol abuse prevention, gender equality, and other health and life skills. The some regions of the country 70% of children have been diagnosed with HIV.