Financial economics graduate Aduu Joba recently attended a Downing Street reception with Prime Minister Gordon Brown as a thank you for running a language and cultural class for children during her final year. In addition to the invitation from Number 10, Aduu also received the Union of Kingston Students' Project of the Year Award.
Aduu takes pride in her native Oromo, an East African language and culture, but discovered that knowledge of the language and traditional songs was dying out among young children in her community. She devised a project to teach local school children the Oromo alphabet and cultural activities such as songs, art, craft and games. Aduu secured funding for the project through Junction49, which runs at the Union of Kingston Students' volunteering department.
Aduu said she wanted children to feel a pride in their own rich history and unique way of life. "My aim was to make sure these kids remember who they are and where they came from so that our heritage continues to flow to the next generation.
"The Prime Minister was very interested in all the things I had done and told us that volunteers are the backbone of Britain. I think that celebrating volunteers is a great way to reward people for their hard work."
Volunteer co-ordinator Celina Jevons said: "Aduu's project is an example of someone who saw an issue in their local community and put in time and effort to do something about it. Her achievements show how a volunteer can make a real difference to improving lives in a local community."