VSA Restless Development volunteers 2011 … four young Kiwis take on the challenge

Published on 18th November 2010

The high standard of New Zealand volunteers selected by VSA to work for its youth volunteer partner, Restless Development, over the past two years has led the international NGO to develop a new internship programme based in Kabwe in Zambia.  Four young Kiwis will take up the new roles in January 2011 having been selected and briefed in Wellington.


They will work as interns, focusing on health education and HIV/AIDS awareness in the province which is north of the capital, Lusaka. 



Restless Development volunteers for 2011. From L-R: Alyssa Boobyer, Melissa Ansell-Bridges, Thulsi Narayanasamy (Restless Development Australia Coordinator), Rachel Meadowcroft and Andrew Joop.


Rachel Meadowcroft

Rachel Meadowcroft has been working towards a role in international development for some years graduating with a BA, majoring in Development Studies and International Relations.  The 24-year-old, who grew up in Geraldine, has spent time travelling in Europe, Asia and South America and is looking forward to exploring Zambia.


Alyssa Boobyer

Twenty-five year-old Alyssa Boobyer has completed a BSc, majoring in Psychology, a BA majoring in Criminology and a Graduate Diploma in Science majoring in Psychology.  Brought up in Wanganui, Alyssa has been working in administration at Victoria University in Wellington and will bring her tenaciousness, and her enthusiasm and knowledge to the job in Zambia.


Melissa Ansell-Bridges

Melissa Ansell-Bridges is hoping her time in Zambia next year will set her up to successfully complete her BA/LLB at Auckland majoring in Politics. She hopes to go on into Development Studies or Human Rights after completing her undergrad. The 22-year-old has travelled extensively and enjoys spending time in the outdoors. An Outward Bound course at Anakiwa in the Marlborough Sounds this year is sure to set her up for travel in the Zambian outback.


Andrew Joop

Isolation or rough roads are not going to faze 24-year-old Alexandra born Andrew Joop who finishes his job as Stock Manager on his family’s beef and sheep station to take up the Restless Development internship. Andrew has a Bachelor of Commerce and Management, majoring in Agribusiness from Lincoln University. His love of the outdoors and competitive sports will also be useful in the roll plus the Rotary Youth Leadership Award course looking at team building activities.



Restless Development and VSA

VSA’s collaboration with Restless Development has helped to expand the opportunities for young New Zealanders to participate in development and offers a different experience from VSA’s own youth programme – it’s UniVol scheme.


Restless Development volunteers do not need previous skills, qualification or experience. They receive training in-country and work together with local national volunteers, providing peer to peer education in schools and communities on issues such as sexual and reproductive health, life skills and livelihoods.



More about Restless Development

Restless Development (formally known as Students Partnership Worldwide SPW) is an international non-profit development organisation that places young people at the forefront of change and development.


Restless Development mobilises young volunteers (aged 18-28) to participate in peer-education programmes that provide youth in rural communities with the information, skills and self-confidence they need to make decisions about the health and environmental issues that affect their lives.  Over 90 per cent of these volunteers are nationals of the countries they work in, joined by a small percentage of international volunteers. By working with and through young people, Restless Development hopes to empower the next generation to act as catalysts for change in their own communities.



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