A once in a lifetime volunteering opportunity in India, became even more life changing for couple Jane Duffin and Bryan Lewis, following their unexpected Hindu style wedding.
Jane, 24, and Bryan, 27, both from Cumbernauld, Scotland, spent four months volunteering with severely disabled children in Varanasi, North India, with not-for-profit charity organisation, Lattitude Global Volunteering.
The volunteering work we did was amazing, but so sad. People had told us that we would see the effects of extreme poverty, but to actually witness it and work with those affected is very hard. It was challenging but we both enjoyed it.´
During a break from the Lattitude volunteering work, they took a trip to Darjeeling, and climbed Tiger Hill, to take in the beautiful view of the sunrise against the Himalayan Mountains. It was there that Bryan proposed to Jane, much to her surprise.
”The proposal was very romantic and although we have been together for six and a half years, and had talked about getting married, it was still a surprise” says Jane. ”I think for a short time he thought I was going to say no, as I couldn’t answer, due to shock!”
After the initial shock, Jane said yes and, with the help of their host family the wedding was arranged soon after.
”We married in Varanasi on December 14 and it was the most fantastic day!” Jane adds.” Unfortunately our friends and family could not be there, but we plan to have another wedding in the UK, to make the marriage legal and to share our day with them adds Jane.
Bryan and Jane decided to take a gap year together after graduation from university.
”We wanted to travel and to make a difference to people, and Lattitude Global Volunteering offered the opportunity for us to do both. The charity was even able to help us financiall” said Jane.
Due to financial problems that followed the tragic death of Bryan’s father two years ago, Lattitude granted Bryan and Jane a bursary to help them realise their travel and volunteering dreams. They supplemented this with their own fundraising efforts, including a jumble sale and sponsored walk.
Lattitude is a not-for-profit charity organisation, providing overseas volunteer placements in 17 different countries, to young people from around the world. Its bursary and funding scheme helps to support young volunteers who may struggle to raise the funds required to travel abroad, alone.
Lattitude Global Volunteering offers young people from every background the opportunity to volunteer overseas, to find out further information about bursaries and the various placements available visit www.lattitude.org.uk
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