Jade Spencer is heading to India with Engineers Without Borders

Changing the world: Jade Spencer is excited about learning ways to help people in rural communities, starting with Gloucester. Photo: Anne Keen
Changing the world: Jade Spencer is excited about learning ways to help people in rural communities, starting with Gloucester. Photo: Anne Keen

Jade Spencer’s passion is taking her to India.

She decided the best way to learn the skills she needs to live her life motto, “Think globally, act locally,” is to take the opportunities that come her way.

The Gloucester resident has just finished her first year of studying a Bachelor of Humanitarian and Community Studies with Charles Darwin University (CDU) via distance education, and she has come across the opportunity to get some hands-on humanitarian experience.

She applied to be a part of a summer semester program with Engineers Without Borders (EWB) that will take her to Ahmedabad, India for two weeks in December.

“I want to be able to work in humanitarian aid and this program provides me with hands-on experience,” she said.

Jade was awarded Gloucester’s Young Citizen of the Year in 2009 for the extensive volunteer work she had done and continues to do around the community. 

In 2014, she travelled to Luang Prabang, Laos to teach English to novice Buddhist monks for four weeks, an experience she credits gave her inspiration to get her degree, so she can work in a way that will really make a difference in communities that need assistance.

The EWB India Humanitarian Design Summit program offers university students an opportunity to travel to metropolitan, peri-urban and rural India to meet with locals to learn about community development.

Students are given a chance to develop an understanding of the role humanitarian engineering can play in creating positive change within communities that lack the means to address pressing problems, like clean water. 

“I want to bring the skills and experience I gain over there to Gloucester and other Australian rural communities,” Jade said.

To assist with the cost of the program, Jade was successful in receiving funding from the New Colombo Plan from CDU. The plan is an Australian Government initiative designed to deepen Australia’s relationships in the Indo Pacific by supporting thousands of undergraduates to study in the region.

Now all she has to do is get together the funds for her flights.

“I’m just excited about going,” she smiled.