Alumni Spotlight: Hailey Lambert


Hailey is a 25-year-old female from Melbourne, Australia. She's not content with the life that society tells her to live, so she spends her time traveling and volunteering wherever she can.

Why did you choose this program?

I wanted to help teach children living in a disadvantaged or rural area and this program offered exactly what I was looking for.

I got to see and experience the struggle that these children go through just to become partially educated for the opportunity at a better life.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

Selene provided me with all the information and support that I needed for the entire project. She also provided transportation to and from the airport, a safe living environment, and freshly prepared meals everyday while I was living with her.

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

Be prepared for extremely limited resources and supplies. The school is very small with only about 100 kids and 4 teachers for 7 grades.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

I would get up early for breakfast every day, and walk to school (about 5-10 minutes from the host house). In the morning I would help assist the teacher or take on a class of my own (teaching English, science, mathematics, PE or art), and play with children at break time.

We would continue with classes after break, and when school ends, I would walk back home, usually with the students. There was then time to relax, read, reflect, and plan my next lesson before the family came home. I would play with the host's children and have dinner in the evening, and relax before going to bed.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

Traveling to Africa on my own as a young white female was very daunting, and a lot of people questioned why I was going there and telling me about horror stories they had heard.

I was terrified about getting robbed at gunpoint or attacked while walking down the street but the people that I came into contact with were absolutely lovely. I think if you have an aura of confidence about you then people don't hassle you, and it's obviously important to be smart and safe.

Don't walk around by yourself at night or go out and get drunk and stumble home. I found the people of Africa to be extremely polite and friendly and I loved my entire experience.