Alumni Spotlight: Kathrine Raabjerg


Kathrine is 19 years and from Herning, Denmark. She's currently in her gap year and will start at university next year to study public health. At the moment she is working in a children's theme park and is volunteering at a local home for Huntington patients.

Why did you decide to volunteer with Projects Abroad in Ghana?

Kathrine: I found their internet page, and from the first second I felt that PA was a safe and good company to travel with. After a short time of consideration I called the Danish office to talk with them about which projects they could offer me, and in which countries. It should be said, that I planned my entire trip in less than 3 weeks.

The man at the office and I agreed that he should contact the people in Kenya and Ghana and learn about what projects they had. After a couple of days he called me back, and I decided that the project in Ghana was the one I wanted, and I ordered the trip online.
I decided to travel with Project Abroad because from day 1 they were really helpful, I felt safe with them, and they took me seriously.

Describe your day to day activities as a volunteer.

Kathrine: I worked at an orphanage with disabled and/or abandoned children everyday from 8 till 12. At 8, I would go the the bigger kids (4-10 years) and help the mothers with feeding the kids. At 8.30, I went to the babies room (0-4 years) to change and feed the babies, and after that I stayed with the babies, played, sang and gave them love. The doors were open, so the bigger kids often came and joined us in the babies room. At 11-11.30 the babies got lunch, we changed them and they were put to have a nap, and I went home.

The days I did not have plans with the Project or the other volunteers I went back to the Orphanage from 14.30 till 17.00, and I did more or less the same as from 8-12. Every wednesday the project had a meeting, where all the volunteers and coordinators met for a quiz, cooking lesson, football or volleyball match against a school or children's home. We, the volunteers, came with suggestions, and the coordinators tried to make it happened.

What made this experience unique and special?

Kathrine: The fact that I helped the kids at the home of course made it a special and memorable trip. But when i look back, the things i remember the most is all the people i meet. In my 4 months. I got to meet a lot of different volunteers, and all of us had a unique and fantastic friendship. But I also got to know a lot of people who live in Ghana. In addition, I was able to meet people that were Lebanese, German, Spanish etc. people - and all of them were amazing, welcoming and helpful. The people I met and came to love were what made my trip the best.

How has this experience impacted your future?

Kathrine: It made me more confident. I know now that I can make a difference. It might have been just a small one at the orphanage, but even though I just made a difference for 4 kids, I made a big difference for them. So I've returned home proud of what I've done - and I now know how little you need to do to make a small difference. And this realization has made me want to study something where I can help other people make a difference, and thereby make a bigger difference.