Volunteer ready for anything

Neither botfly nor Brazilian spiders could scare volunteer and new Vinnie’s state youth manager Jarrad Stewart.
Neither botfly nor Brazilian spiders could scare volunteer and new Vinnie’s state youth manager Jarrad Stewart.

HE narrowly avoided being struck by lightning and had a botfly burrow into his head, but Jarrad Stewart claimed his time volunteering in South America was the trip of a lifetime.

Mr Stewart (22) now the state youth manager for Vinnies in Belmont, recently embarked on a six-month conservation internship in the Amazon.

“It certainly wasn’t easy and there were times when you wondered if you would be able to see out the full six months, especially after requiring numerous courses of antibiotics,” Mr Stewart said.

“But I am so glad I did it; it was great fun and I learned so much including some useful machete skills.”

Mr Stewart and the team of volunteers were forced to co-exist with Brazilian wandering spiders and the many varied species of the Amazon.

“By far the highlight was being close and personal with the diverse flora and fauna, including coming within a metre of an armadillo,” Mr Stewart said.

Upon his return to Perth, Mr Stewart was welcomed back into the Vinnie’s family, working with the many Vinnie’s Youth volunteers.

“Just as I got a great deal of satisfaction working in South America on conservation projects, working at Vinnie’s and supporting young people to achieve and learn is equally as satisfying,” he said.

“I feel privileged to be able to work with our young volunteers who are currently giving their time to create and deliver Christmas hampers.”

Vinnie’s Christmas Appeal runs until the end of January.