Alumni Spotlight: Nakita Landry

Nakita is from a town called Bendigo in VIC, Australia. She is about to begin her 3rd year studying a Bachelor of Education (majoring in primary education, with a minor in Children's Literature). In her spare time, Nakita enjoys coaching and playing netball and also works part time at a chicken shop!


Why did you pick this program?

I have always wanted to go to Africa and decided one day to apply. IVHQ stood out to me because it was affordable and offered many different types of programs and gave me the opportunity to participate in two different programs at once (teaching and childcare). I didn't really know much about which African country to go to, so I did a bit of research and decided Ghana was a good option for first time/solo travellers!

What do you tell your friends who are thinking about going abroad?

I tell them to go for it. I have been 100% honest with people and said that it can be scary, but it's also one of the best things to do. Life's too short. You have to chase your dreams and the longer you wait, the less likely you are to pursue them.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Be open minded, but understand your own limits. Don't be scared to try new things, but don't be afraid to say no.

Also, if there's something from your country that you know you'll crave on your time away, pack it in your suit case (all I wanted to eat was Vegemite)!!!

What's your favorite story to tell about your time abroad?

The highlight for me was saving a child off the streets and taking her to clinics to get better. Along with other volunteers, I helped get this child into the orphanage I was helping at, which is an incredible feeling. The support the orphanage staff showed with our persistence to help this child was amazing and it was great to see how helpful they were in assisting us reach our goals. Working with other volunteers to get this child into the orphanage was very satisfying and rewarding. It's great to see like minded people, sharing common goals and interests, working together to help other communities around the world.

(Additionally to this, I loved spending Christmas with the orphans! To start the day, I was a little home sick, but seeing the children smile whilst opening their presents made me smile. It was so beautiful to see how happy they were.

What made this trip meaningful to you, or how did this trip change your perceptions, future path?

This trip helped me appreciate how lucky I am to live in a country like Australia. Simple things like running and clean water, proper showers, vegetables and even smooth roads are things we all take for granted without even knowing it. It's amazing how easily it is to adapt to different environments though!

It was amazing to see how valued education was in Ghana, even though their schools and teaching methods are so different to anything here. They have very little resources, which means less opportunities for the students to succeed. Additionally, due to a lot of poverty in Ghana, some parents can't even afford to send their children to school, so if you are at school in Ghana, you are considered very lucky.

I haven't changed my career path, but the trip has definitely inspired me to continue to travel while studying... I have got the travel bug now and want to volunteer anywhere and everywhere!