Pupils from a local school are heading to Tanzania to give ‘much needed help’ to people in impoverished areas.
Wallingford School student Millie Donohue, 16, will be setting off on a two-week journey of a lifetime in July with two classmates and her aunt.
They are representing Wallingford-based charity Go Make a Difference (Go MAD) and will be building water tanks and goat sheds – as well as buying the goats to live in them.
They will also play games with the children, visit an orphanage, help in schools and teach young girls.
Millie said: “It is important to make students aware of the people in Tanzania who are less fortunate than us. I think kids these days are always on their mobile phones, but there is so much more to life.”
She said: “This would make a life changing difference to these people – can you imagine not having access to clean water and having to walk 2-3 hours to collect dirty water from a river then back again? This is mainly the job of girls, causing them to miss out on education.”
She had to convince the headteacher to allow the pupils to go on the trip and made a presentation to over 300 students in order to raise awareness and funds.
She said: “I was so nervous, but after I did it I realised I could do anything and now I can’t wait to go. I’m really excited. I’m hoping to go next year as well.”
Millie also organised a non-uniform day that raised over £1,800.
Headteacher Wyll Willis said: “Her determination and hard work convinced everybody to support her.
“This is testimony to Millie’s commitment and the generosity of the students when shown how hard some people their age find it just to stay alive. I also think Millie has learned a few things too. We are all very proud of her.”
Go MAD, a small independent Christian charity, offers trips throughout the year from one week to 6sixmonths. Their volunteering projects range from building through teaching to medical assistance.
The charity’s co-founder, Graham McClure, said: “The students will be working with some of the poorest people in the world. I think it will help them appreciate what they have in the UK and the fact that we don’t need a lot to be happy – the villagers are happy and they have very little.”
The charity is also planning to put drop toilets in schools throughout Tanzania and educating mothers about how to help rehydrate a malnourished child.