My LIV Story

by Lizzie Barrett

Where it all began

Almost two years ago I explored the possibility of using my teaching in a mission situation in The Gambia. Although this opportunity fell through, it stirred in me a passion to combine my professional calling with a heart for underprivileged and vulnerable children. This led to my recent visit to 'LIV' Village in Durban, South Africa.

I heard about LIV through my church when the LIV Children's Choir visited us. Last January I began to explore the possibility of volunteering short-term at the village. From my very first enquiry every door opened in incredible ways and within a few weeks my trip had been confirmed. It was happening!

Hear more about my journey...

An unforgettable summer

During my month volunteering, July-August 2018, I worked with the children in LIV School as I offered in-class support as well as small group and one-to-one intervention. This was a wonderfully rewarding and challenging experience. As I spent time settling into 'village life' I had a growing sense that I wanted to invest in the school and help serve this community. I fell wholeheartedly in love with LIV's vision, the people and, of course, the children! I returned home forever changed by this experience.

An Opportunity

Within months of my return to the UK the opportunity to apply for a position at the school arose - Head of Department for the Foundation Phase (Grade R to Grade 3). This leadership post provides the exciting challenge of helping to raise the standards of educational opportunities provided for the children of LIV School. It is a position I feel God is specifically calling me to.

A new season begins

In April 2019 I will leave my place of work for the last 12 years; I'll move out of my little haven (the school flat!) and say 'see you later' to friends and family as I relocate my life to South Africa. I will move into my new home - one of the shared staff houses on the village and start my new teaching position.

It takes a village to raise a child

My involvement in LIV Village life will not be limited to the classroom. As part of my role I will embrace a variety of extramural village duties. These may include youth mentor and discipleship programs and Sunday ministries (Promise Land children's group and food parcel donations.)


Please support me in prayer and by keeping in touch - it's so great to feel connected to people whilst I'm here. 

As LIV is a charitable organisation my position at the village is voluntary. Accommodation and some food is provided but I raise funds for my living costs. 

I am a registered recipient with Stewardship, who have set up an account fund for my ministry. If you feel you could support me financially, however small, you can make a donation to Stewardship for my fund. Please click here 

"Don't think you need to know the end when you begin."

Tich and Joan Smith, founders of LIV Village

This is a huge life-changing decision and I have no idea what things will look like in a year's time. All I know is - I'm going! What I am certain of, though, is that God isn't 'sending' me, He's 'taking' me. I feel blessed to be in a season of life where I'm able to go and help serve the community of LIV Village as it seeks to Rescue, Restore, Raise and Release generations of children. 

Bring on the adventure!

Thank you for taking the time to read my story.

For more information about LIV Village visit:

If you would like to get in touch please do so via my contact page 

© 2019 Lizzie Barrett / Photos used with kind permission of LIV Village.
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