Elise Ildevert is raising funds to spend a year in Ghana, where she will teach youngsters at one of the country’s schools.
The 16-year-old said: “I have always wanted to go to Africa. It is completely different from all the other places on offer.
“In terms of culture, it is completely different and I want to do primary teaching as well.”
Elise, who will head to Ghana in September, has been tasked with raising £6,200 to pay for the year-long adventure.
She had a stall at Ross High School’s recent Christmas fair (see image), with further fundraisers planned for the coming months.
The S6 student at Ross High in Tranent has started writing to charitable trusts in a bid to help her reach the four-figure target.
Meanwhile, more fundraisers are being lined up, including a dog show.
All of that should help her to raise the money needed to see her spend a memorable 12 months in the west African country.
Elise, of Pencaitland, said: “I will be doing primary teaching and living as part of the community.
“I will be living in a hut somewhere and I want to make up a club, like an art club.
“I want to do it because I think you are helping people. I wanted a break from studying and wanted to experience a different way of life before I go to university.”
The chance to spend a year in Ghana came about through the Project Trust.
The charity has been offering gap year opportunities for school leavers aged 17-19 for more than 50 years.
Volunteers can spend 12 months in countries ranging from Chile and the Dominican Republic to Cambodia, Nepal, Ghana, Namibia and Zambia.
While there, they can be involved in a range of activities, including primary teaching and outward bound work.
A representative from the charity visited the Tranent secondary school before the summer break and immediately caught the attention of former Pencaitland Primary School pupil Elise.
The teenager, who is studying Advanced Higher Art, Higher Geography and Photography and National 5 Spanish, said: “One of my friend’s sisters is doing a gap year in South Africa.
“I didn’t really think properly about it until someone from the Project Trust came into the school and talked about it.
“It sounded amazing.
“I always wanted to do a gap year and go somewhere that is not like Europe or America.
“I am going to be in a rural area and effectively teaching; it sounds amazing.”
Applicants were then whittled down and had the chance to head to the charity’s base on the Isle of Coll during the October break.
Presentations and helping with the community gave representatives of the charity the chance to decide if each person was suitable for a year away from home.
Elise will find out more details about her trip, such as which school she is going to, over the coming months.
To support Elise and make a donation, go to uk.virginmoneygiving.com/EliseIldevert or visit facebook.com/ElisesYearInGhana