TWO students are gearing up for a 10-week adventure to help poverty stricken people in Africa.
Kayleigh Brown, 22, and Claire Boarder, 22, will be swapping Hartlepool for the southeast African country of Malawi next month after being selected to be part of a government-funded scheme which aims to halve the number of people suffering from extreme poverty by 2015.
The pair are due to fly out to the village of Salima in the landlocked country on July 9.
They will not return until September 16.
The duo do not know exactly what work they will be doing until they get out there. But it will involve nutrition workshops, harvesting and collecting data.
Both of their trips have been fully funded. However, they have organised a fundraising night to help towards the overall cost of the project.
The pair have both been abroad on similar schemes, with Kayleigh spending time in South Africa three years ago on a conservation project, while Claire has worked in schools in Jaisalmer, in India.
Kayleigh, who lives in the Brenda Road area of Hartlepool and is a first year town planning student at Newcastle University, said: “There are 12 people from the UK going in our group to Malawi.
“Six will work on a HIV project and the rest will work on the conservation scheme at Salima.
“The first time I went to South Africa I thought that was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so to be able to do something like this again is amazing.”
Claire, who has just finished a photography course at Sunderland University and will miss her graduation because of the trip, said: “I can’t believe my luck that I have been selected again.
“My family and friends have been very supportive and we are really looking forward to it now.
“Missing my graduation is a small price to pay compared with helping to change people’s lives,” added Claire, who lives in the Oxford Road area of town.
International Citizen Service (ICS) is a global volunteering experience which supports young people from all backgrounds to make a difference to some of the world’s poorest people.
The new initiative, which is funded by the Department for International Development, gives thousands of 18 to 22-year-olds the chance to enjoy placements in poverty-stricken countries.
The fundraising night of music and entertainment, featuring 23-year-old Hartlepool singer Brian Bush, is due to take place at the Belle Vue Social Club, in Kendal Road, on Wednesday, June 22, from 7pm.
Tickets cost £2 on the door.
The pair are hoping to raise about £700 between them to help towards the project cost.