TWO years ago, dedicated Emma Payne returned from a stint of volunteering in Brazil – and now she is all set to support poverty stricken families in the Third World once again.
In a little under two months, the 24-year-old from Seaton Carew will head out to one of the poorest parts of Nicaragua, in Central America, for 10 weeks of volunteering.
There, she will help to build community centres, run hygiene workshops and teach the locals about the importance of recycling.
The former Manor College of Technology student will live with a local family, who she will meet for the very first time on arrival, and will be one of around 40 volunteers working in the country with Raleigh International, a charity which works to encourage people to make a difference in Third World countries around the globe.
Emma now lives and works as an account executive in Leeds but is regularly back in Hartlepool to visit her parents, Jackie, and Robbie, a Labour councillor on the Headland and Harbour ward.
“One of my friends who works for Barnado’s told me about an opportunity to go out to Nicaragua volunteering so I signed up and within a few weeks I had been offered a place,” said Emma, who is taking 10 weeks unpaid leave to go on the trip.
“When I was at uni I went to Brazil volunteering which was an unbelievable experience but it wasn’t actually as disadvantaged as I thought it would be.
“After that I knew I wanted to do something like that again.
“Nicaragua is an extremely poor country but I also read something that said it is the 11th happiest country in the world which says a lot about the people there.”
Emma will fly out to the country on January 29 next year.
But before then she needs to complete her fundraising for Raleigh International and reach the total of £800.
“Obviously I’m not getting paid when I get out there and it doesn’t actually cost anything to get involved but everyone has to raise £800,” she added.
“I would definitely recommend the project to people who would like to get involved with volunteering.”
To support Emma visit http://www.justgiving.com/emma-payne5.