'The International Student of the Year 2010 – Rose Melissa Ilboudo (Burkina Faso) '
In her second year at UAE, Melissa began working as a volunteer with Christian Aid, which she credits with enabling her to contribute to her home country. The charity supported her efforts to raise £200,000 for Burkina Faso.
‘I needed to raise £20,000 within 18 months to receive EU match funding,’ she recalls. ‘We actually raised more than £50,000 in 10 months, which will be match-funded by an extra £150,000, so we have now raised more than £200,000!’
Melissa’s fundraising activities included organising a canoeing event, co-ordinating entries for the London marathon and a triathlon, giving talks in schools and churches, and working with local media.
‘Christian Aid volunteers, classmates and friends took part in the marathon and triathlon,’ she says, ‘and we have had enormous support from churches in East Anglia and schools, who have all contributed to the fundraising.’
Of her success, Melissa says: ‘Each of the 12 finalists deserved to win – they are all amazing people. The prize is not only for me but the Eastern region, UEA and the School of International Development.’