Marketing and communications placement Lauren Cursiter is putting her skills to good use, not only at Wood Group Kenny, but for the benefit of communities in Zimbabwe.

Lauren spent three months volunteering with a national partner in two different communities; Plum Tree and Tshi-Tshi. Lauren has been inspired by the whole experience, which she took part in with the charity Restless Development.

Lauren says, "Ivimila High School in Plum Tree has a 1% pass rate and the area has an unemployment rate of approximately 90% which fuels the children’s lack of motivation. We worked on a number of initiatives there, including a livelihoods project.

"Restless Development funds the income-generating broiler chicken project in Ivimila. They donate chickens, coops and feed to the school and we supported the maintenance and development of the project. All money raised goes back into the project to create continued income for the school so marketing was a key element to making that a success.

"The pupils loved learning about livelihoods and often wanted to learn more about various business functions. Entrepreneurial spirt is vital for the continued development of Zimbabwe to create more jobs and opportunities for those living in rural areas.”

For the final month of her trip, Lauren was in Tshi Tshi, which has a large out-of-school youth community.

"To address anti-social behaviour and provide better future prospects, they wanted to create a youth-run café. Restless Development agreed to fund the building, stock and training for the café. The Tshi Tshi youth have already set plans for development and the next cycle of volunteers will support the further creation of the project.

"Overall the experience was enlightening and I felt a massive sense of personal development as well as the impact of the work we completed."