A selection of testimonials from TTV 2018
Comments from young people on the programme
Responses to ‘How has the programme helped you?’
- It has helped me understand the value of family more and that maybe we should learn from that to show that level of respect
- I feel a lot stronger away from my support system at home than I expected
- It has been so good to see life in a completely different culture
- I feel more confident in situations that are not usual
- I have met people that I wouldn’t normally cross paths with and connected with them
- It’s given me the understanding of listening and time out and that I can do things which I am not comfortable about
- I have developed confidence and I appreciate what I have more
- I have learned how the sense of love and friendship is more important than material things
- I have enjoyed meeting with a mixed group from Wiltshire and Swindon and with making friends within a different culture
- It has given me a different perspective on the world making me more resilient.
- I have learned about business, been good at preparing for the trip independently
- The programme has increased my confidence
- I can look at things from a different angle and find alternative ways to solve problems
- It has been good to be in a situation that you are not certain about
- It has helped me adapt to challenging situations and I am more confident with meeting new people and trying out new things
Other comments from the young people:
- I have just loved it
- It’s helped me realise how big the world is
- It’s been helpful taking a mentor role in the group and this has helped me develop my understanding of others
- It has helped me be able to have a conversation with strangers about multiple things, with confidence
- I have got to know new people and see a different way of life
- It has given me the idea of the need to listen and to value listening
- How it is good when people can accept you for who you are, and how there is respect for self and others
- I have enjoyed the cultural experience
“They are looking people in the eye and they are more confident around school”
In my view, the project successfully achieved the purpose (and much more besides) and it will be interesting to see if this is backed up by the research data. Not only has my daughter found out that she is good at, and really enjoys taking photographs; but she has made amazing friends both here and in The Gambia; and I know that she will remember her trip to West Africa forever – both the challenges it posed as well as the happy memories it created. None of this would have been possible without the energy and enthusiasm of the leadership team – especially Caro.
“I have loved watching (my child’s) confidence grow”
The photography sessions in the field were the most valuable of all. We met with a broad range of people that the volunteers would never had had the chance to talk to and went on an interview/ communication journey to get to the point where the subject relaxed and the volunteers saw how they could take good photos. The other joy was giving the photos back to the subjects and enjoying their reaction. I felt that these outings were the TTV “moment” where I could share my years of experience, not only of photography, but of parenting, communication and life beyond. These trips inspired invaluable discussions and I felt that I really came to know my volunteers. It also gave me a chance to see what individual support would be required on our travels to Africa. The volunteers have way exceeded all expectations and are delivering extraordinary and inspiring photos.
My experience of the students in this project has been ‘engaging and engaged’ Prepared to face up to challenges. Their openness to Gunjur and the Gambian partners – simply amazing. How these young people have flourished and found confidence over the year has been wonderful to witness….for me this has been about relationships. …Seeing the young people make connections with their Gambian partner has been one of the most moving experiences of the year.
Jackie Beere OBE
Independent evaluation conclusion
This programme was devised and created by Caro Strover with the support from Nick Maurice, who provided such outstanding organisation in Gunjur and led the Mango project. The great success of this programme is due to unstinting enthusiasm, determination and inspiring leadership from Caro. This was mentioned by students, teachers, leaders, parents etc.
The outcomes in this programme suggest that young people who may not always choose an adventure in an unusual destination can benefit enormously from taking part in such a challenge. In fact, it turns out that this experience can be mindset-changing and life-changing.
In the context of a society where levels of anxiety, unhappiness and self-doubt are reported regularly in schools and employers report concern over a ‘snowflake’ generation who lack resilience in the workplace, the TTV programme needs to be expanded and made available to more teenagers nationwide. Indeed, this type of experience should be considered as a curriculum entitlement for all students in schools.
Evaluation report written by Jackie Beere OBE