A YOUNG volunteer from York is speaking out from Cambodia, where she has been working to help lift some of the world’s poorest people from poverty.

Antonia Miles, who used to live in York, travelled to Cambodia in September with international development organisation, Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), as part of the UK government funded International Citizen Service (ICS) programme.

Antonia is currently nine weeks into her 15-week placement, where she has been volunteering alongside young people from Cambodia and the UK.

ICS volunteers work in some of the poorest communities across Africa and Asia on issues like sexual health, education, women’s rights and economic empowerment.

Antonia, 25, said: “Our community is made of three villages in rural Cambodia.

“The main difficulty the community face which directly relates to our work here is the percentage of youths who drop out of school. There are still a large number of youths who drop out of school and miss out on a large majority of their secondary/high school education.”

She is living with a local host family to fully immerse herself in the community.

Before leaving for Cambodia, Antonia raised £800 for VSO, which will ensure that communities in developing countries continue to benefit from the work of volunteers.

Antonia went on to say: “International development is important as if we can all help each other to have better working systems, through education and sharing knowledge, then we can all contribute to a sustainable world.

“It is through working in international development that you can gain a better and wider understanding of worldwide issues, a perspective you don’t get from first world countries.”

As well as making a difference in some of the world’s poorest communities, ICS volunteers gain valuable experience and skills for the future. When Antonia returns to the UK on December 21, she will undertake another project, ensuring that her new skills also benefit her local community.

To find out more or to apply, visit www.volunteerics.org