Our Blog

Changing lives in Costa Rica – Experiences of summer volunteering by Head Girl Georgina


“As many of you are aware, over the summer Becca and I went to Costa Rica to volunteer with the charity ‘Homes of Hope’.

Here we spent the most incredible and rewarding week, building a house for a family in desperate need of a new home. From constructing the framework and putting up the first wall, to assembling the roof, and finally painting the exterior and interior, we felt a huge sense of accomplishment when the house was complete. We had the privilege of being joined by the family and their relatives, along with friends and local people, all working side by side – it really was a team effort. There was a humbling sense of community, which we were honoured to be a part of for even a short time.

Georgie charity volunteer

Head Girl Georgie & Becca

One of our most memorable moments was the paint fight we had with the 7-year-old boy Fraser, where we spent hours chasing each other around the favela with our hands covered in paint. It amazed us how he was entertained by the simplest of things, with no electronic devices or even toys to assist him. We were also fortunate enough to be able to take the family on a shopping trip where, with just US $250, we were able to supply basic food that will keep them going for months, along with toiletries and sanitation products. When we got to the check out, the mother named Lady burst into tears and told us that she had “never shopped like this” and had “never before felt so secure about providing for her family”, which bought a tear to our eyes. We were also able to gift them with a fridge and washing machine, which they were overjoyed about. When asked what they wanted for themselves, Fraser chose a Nerf Gun and spent the following afternoon chasing around his two bullets, and Lady brought a pair of flip flops, always considering practicality. This was an overwhelming experience, one that has taught us to never again complain about there being no food in the fridge! On handover day, our team stood in a circle and passed around the key, thanking the family for allowing them this experience, and wishing them luck in their new home and for the future. This was an extremely emotional day seeing the look of relief, gratitude and hope on the faces of this family. Our trip to Costa Rica was a life changing experience, and we cannot put into words all the emotions felt while there. One of the many things we learnt was to appreciate everything we have, but also how your time and effort can make such a difference to the lives of others, setting them up for a better future. Finally, we want to thank you for all your support and donations, which meant that we were able to take out US $1000, which is going to go towards building a playground for the young people in the local community.”

Georgie – Head Girl