Rebecca Mortimer, who lives in Barnet, is now raising money to support her three-month volunteer experience with charity Progressio.
The project provides sex education to women in poor communities, who have a life expectancy of around 40 due to HIV.
Rebecca, 22, said: “If more women feel comfortable talking about such issues amongst themselves, they may be able to spread and share some really crucial information; some that could potentially save lives.”
The former Queen Elizabeth Girls’ School, in Barnet, pupil plans to give presentations in schools upon her return to motivate more young people to consider international charity work.
Although Rebecca’s focus is now on international development, she has a long-standing engagement with inequality issues closer to home.
She said: “I think I have always felt very emotionally involved in women’s rights issues, I have read a lot and learnt a tremendous amount about the role of women in history, all over the world.
“The injustices they experience not only seem to be forgotten in comparison to that of men, but they usually experience much greater prejudice and hardship, purely for being women.”
The experience working on the ground in impoverished communities will give Rebecca the skills she needs to progress to a career in policy work.