Former Thornhill student off to Ghana after receiving Magnusson award

Orlaith with journalist and broadcaster Dr Sally Magnusson.
Orlaith with journalist and broadcaster Dr Sally Magnusson.
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A former Thornhill College pupil will travel to Ghana this summer to volunteer in a centre for the rehabilitation of malnourished children.

Orlaith, a BSc Human Nutrition and Dietetics student in the School of Health and Life Sciences, is making the journey with the support of a Magnusson Award.

In Ghana, 12,000 children die every year due to malnutrition and four in 10 children under the age of five are physically stunted and unable to meet their full growth potential.

Based within a centre near the Ghanian capital of Accra, Orlaith will join a team of nutritionists and counsellors to deliver education workshops for parents on food preparation, malaria prevention, sanitation and personal hygiene.

“I am truly honoured and grateful to the Magnusson Fund for providing me with this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Orlaith.

“Working in a healthcare setting with very limited resources will be challenging but I hope to learn a lot from the patients, the nutritionists and the overall experience that will benefit me in my further studies and in my future career.”

Magnusson Awards are presented annually in honour of the University’s late Chancellor, the well-known journalist and broadcaster Magnus Magnusson KBE, to recognise his passion for learning and knowledge, his contribution to Scottish education and, in particular, his dedication to GCU.

Journalist and broadcaster Dr Sally Magnusson, Honorary President of the Magnusson Fellowship and an Honorary Graduate of GCU, presented Orlaith with the award at a ceremony held in the University on Monday, May 18.

Orlaith is one of eight students who were presented with a Magnusson Award, which will support them to volunteer with projects across the globe, bringing their expertise and knowledge to parts of the world where it will make a real and lasting difference. They are involved in projects including working on sea turtle conservation in Costa Rica and addressing environmental problems at both global and regional levels during a six-month internship with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).