Catriona Duffy, a Durham University student from Stokesley, Middlesborough, says her one-year placement volunteering in Belize City has taught her invaluable life lessons and made her realise how much we can all make a difference in the world.
The 19-year-old, who is a member of St Peter and St Paul’s Church, Stokesley, has been on a gap year with the international Christian charity Us (also known as United Society), which runs a placement programme called Journey with Us.
Based at All Saints Church in Belize City, Catriona was teaching music to primary school infants, as well as running two school choirs and helping with youth work.
Catriona, who raised funds for the trip herself, says, "From the start, everyone I met was kind and supportive. In fact, I did not appreciate what strong relationships I would have formed by the time I left.
"Everyone I met, especially my host family, showed me so much grace and kindness. They truly showed me how to live out a Christian faith day by day.