UCW graduate puts degree to good use by volunteering in Central America

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A UCW graduate has used the skills and knowledge she gained from her Business Management with Sustainability degree to support remote communities in Nicaragua in managing their water and sanitation resources.

Rimante Zagreckaite, who graduated from UCW in the summer and is now employed by Weston College, recently returned from spending ten weeks in the country.

She volunteered to work on a project organised by development charity Raleigh International and funded by the UK government’s International Citizenship Service.

Rimante and other volunteers worked with Nicaraguan project workers in Quisuli Arriba in the north of the country to hold educational workshops about the importance of clean water and effective sanitation processes.

She said: “I chose to volunteer because I wanted to join the movement of building a better world, be part of a lasting change, and to help people less fortunate than me.

“The communication, organisation and partnership skills I got from my degree really helped me during the project, which focused on making positive long-term improvements in rural communities by supporting them to manage their resources more effectively.

“We worked alongside local project partners and reached around 90% of households in the region, which should lead to a reduction of water-borne diseases in the years ahead.”

Rimante and her team also organised ‘action days’, including a mixed football match to promote gender equality and raise the confidence of women in the community.

“I feel so motivated and inspired by the experience that I’m determined to carry on making a difference; I would encourage any young person to volunteer,” she added.

The 21-year-old was among the 35% of students on the UCW Honours top-up in Business Management with Sustainability to graduate with First Class degrees last year.

Prior to this, she graduated from UCW’s Foundation degree in Tourism Management.

Both degree programmes are delivered by UCW in partnership with Bath Spa University.

Read Rimante’s blog to find out more about her work in Nicaragua.