Africa & Asia Venture (AV) saw some amazing photos posted by friends on Facebook’s 10 year challenge. It got us thinking. Why don’t we challenge our AVs to show us their pictures from their time on AV and where they are now?!

We have a large extended AV family and we’ve learnt from them that the AV gap year experience can change lives. Some AV volunteers changed their degree program and their career choices as a result of their gap year experiences with AV and many have told us that their time overseas with AV helped to shape the person they have become today.

Some of those AV’s decided to take up the 10 Year Challenge and these are the results….


Lily Johnson-Model

“Going to Uganda was entirely new territory, something completely out of my comfort zone. I got to meet so many wonderful people from walks of life far different from my own. I’m having that same experience in fashion. I’ve never done anything like modeling and it’s really been a push for myself. I get to work with really creative and hardworking people all the time and it’s a job that I find incredibly rewarding”.

                   Photo taken by David Newby for Lilli’s latest shoot for The Guardian

Melissa Van Der Klugt -Journalist

“AV India really did change everything — I became a journalist with The Times just so I could go back and write there — which I did in 2016 with the Sunday Times! I’m working freelance this year because I’m writing a book based around India !! – but I am a writer and journalist contributing regulating to the Times, Sunday Times and Radio 4. If people want to follow me on Instagram it’s @missyvdk”.

Simon Wilkes – Director of  a business service  company

“I’m working within my family group of companies now with my two brothers.  We are third generation and really enjoying taking the businesses to the next level. I think the number one thing I got out of AV was the beauty of travel and meeting new people from all walks of life.  As a boy I got home sick just boarding at school from time to time, but after Nepal I went to India on my own for a month.  Something I never thought I would be brave enough to do when I was age 13. My wife and I are expecting our first child in April and I can’t wait to show them the magic of Nepal and India one day when they are old enough”. 

 Simon Wilkes and Jack Witts travelled to Nepal almost 20 years ago and are still friends today #onceanav

Kate Tebay – Property Portfolio Manager

“My time is split between looking after my daughter and managing a property portfolio. Nepal taught me to appreciate all I have and contentedness that I still carry with me. I am sure that the experiences I had in Nepal have helped me to deal with the challenges that are life!! Whilst I am sure that like my mum, should my daughter choose to do something similar, I will stand at the airport struggling to hold back the tears but I will also be delighted that she will get to experience some of the wonderful things that I did”.

So where will you be for the next 10 year challenge?

The right Gap Year can have a huge impact on your life. It’ll give you perspective on life and help you appreciate what you have. It will also push you out of your comfort zone, encouraging you to do more and achieve the goals you set yourself in life. A gap year will broaden your horizons, and it could also help you bag that dream job. It can set you apart from the competition and give you some interesting tales to talk about at interview.

You can travel for 2-16 weeks with AV to nine destinations which all offer unique experiences and amazing communities that can really benefit from your help.


Gap Year Programmes

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