A once-in-a-lifetime adventure awaits four young people from Wales as they travel to the other side of the world to volunteer in a foreign country – all for a brand new S4C series.
Iestyn Wyn Lewis from Llannerch-y-medd, Anglesey, Luis Miles Evans from the Vale of Glamorgan, Rachel Lewis from Pontarddulais and Pwllheli’s Ceri Elsbeth Lewis will fly to Uganda in August where they’ll be filmed for the second series of Newid Byd (Change the World).
Over the past few months, production company Telesgop have undertaken an intensive selection programme to determine the four finalists.
“The four chosen candidates were chosen because they are enthusiastic and hard-working young people,” explains Mererid Wigley, Series Producer.
“I’m confident that they can respond to the challenge that faces them. I also hope their actions inspire more young people to follow in their footsteps and help others in their own communities.”
Rachel, Iestyn, Luis and Ceri will travel to Uganda next month where they’ll volunteer for three weeks, under the guidance of Arwel Phillips.
Once there, the four will assist in a number of important community projects to help improve the way of life for the locals. From building a goat shed to establishing a library, harvesting coffee and planting trees, the experience will give them a taste of Uganda’s culture.
During this once-in-a-lifetime challenge, all four will work closely with charities including Dolen Ffermio, Size of Wales, Child of Hope, Pont and Wales Fair Trade. They’ll also focus on projects that will help communities in the Mbale region, East Uganda.
Newid Byd returns to S4C screens later in the year.
The four individuals taking part in the second series of Newid Byd are Iestyn Wyn Lewis, Luis Miles Evans, Rachel Lewis and Ceri Elsbeth Lewis.
Iestyn Wyn Lewis (17 years old) Llannerch-y-medd, Anglesey
Iestyn is a former pupil at Ysgol Uwchradd Bodedern. He is very active in the community where he regularly volunteers, is a member of the county forum over young people’s rights ‘Llais Ni’ (Our Voice) and a representative of ‘Draig Ffynci’, an initiative of the Children and Young People’s Assembly for Wales. Earlier this year, he received an award from Anglesey Council for his volunteering work.
“The idea of helping to initiate change in people’s lives is what drew me to this project. It’s a real honour to have been chosen for the project as well as working with an enthusiastic team. Volunteering in a foreign country will be amazing as we look to implement changes that will affect the lives of those in the local communities.”
Luis Miles Evans (17 years old) Rhoose, Vale of Glamorgan
Luis is a year 12 pupil at Ysgol Bro Morgannwg in Barry where he studies Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and Graphics. He enjoys all kinds of sports but it is in the water that he’s most comfortable because he swims and surfs. Luis also represented Wales in swimming competitions on a number of occasions. In his spare time, he is a lifeguard on Barry Island beach and at Cardiff International Pool.
“I’m thrilled to have been chosen for Newid Byd because the purpose of the trip is to help the local people who live in less-developed areas. I don’t know that much about Uganda so I’m sure this trip will be an eye-opener for me of the poverty and quality of life that is evident there. This experience could change the way that I look at people and perhaps change the way I respond to similar situations.”
Rachel Lewis (18 years old) Pontarddulais
Rachel recently left Ysgol Gyfun Gŵyr after completing her A Level exams. Her ambition is to work in nursing, so to gain experience in the field Rachel has been volunteering in youth clubs for autistic children and working for charity Local Aid with children with severe learning disabilities. When she’s not volunteering, Rachel enjoys playing netball, cooking and looking after animals.
“I can’t wait to experience the different culture, meet the local people and face the challenges that lie ahead. Helping others and making a difference to lives is something which has always appealed to me. Being one of the selected few on Newid Byd is so special and we’re all going to try and make a difference, as well as raising awareness of the need for young volunteers in this country. I’m ready for the challenge.”
Ceri Elsbeth Lewis (18 years old) Pwllheli
Ceri is a former student at Pwllheli’s Meirion Dwyfor College having recently completed her A Level exams. This isn’t the first time that she’s volunteered in a foreign country. In 2011, Ceri went to Patagonia where she volunteered with the Urdd. In her spare time, Ceri enjoys keeping fit and performs with Aelwyd Chwilog and Côr Glanaethwy.
“I didn’t know much about Uganda before this project. I’ve been researching and looking at pictures online and I was shocked at the level of poverty in the area. The thought of helping people who are less fortunate than me is something really special. Working in a foreign country gives us a great opportunity to help others, try and make a difference to their lives and realise how lucky we are with our lives back home.”