A sixth year pupil from Renfrew is hoping to change lives by going on a mercy mission to Africa.
Aimee Hamilton, 17, has been raising money to go to the African country of Swaziland to volunteer as a teacher and social carer for a year.
Back in June Aimee went on a selection course with the organisers of the trip, Project Trust, where she was offered a place volunteering.
The year long placement will start next year but Aimee has until 31st July 2016 to raise £6,200 funding before she is able to go.
Aimee told Renfrewshire24 “I have always wanted to help people that were less fortunate than myself and I have always had a desire to travel and learn about the world, so when project trust spoke at my school I knew that it would be the perfect opportunity for me.”
For most of us a the year seems a long time. Aimee disagrees “Personally I think that by going to Swaziland for a year I will be able to have more impact on the community I’m going to live in. Also by going for a year you get to see all celebrations, festivals and holidays that are part of the culture of the community.
“I don’t know which area I will be staying in but as most of the population of Swaziland are living in poverty it will definitely be a huge difference for what life is like for us here.”
When Aimee goes to Swaziland she will be teaching children around primary school age, but in the future she would like to teach English as a second language.
Amiee’s family and friends have been very supportive of her plans to take a year out. “My mum has always told me that the only thing that can’t be taken away from you are experiences and knowledge so no matter how much my Mum and Dad will miss me they know that they have to let me go.
“My friends have also been very supportive, coming to all my fundraising events and helping me with ideas and things.”
So far Aimee has raised £1,900 through events but she still has a long way to go.
Her next fund raiser is a Halloween Party at the McMaster Centre in Renfrew tomorrow night, 7th November.
Project Trust have been sending volunteers abroad since 1967 and it is the oldest educational charity that concentrates on overseas placements for school leavers aged 17-19. They organise long term volunteering placements (8 months or a year) in a variety of countries within Africa, Asia and the Americas.
Swaziland is an absolute monarchy & 25% of the adult population has HIV. The average life expectancy is 50 which contributes to Swaziland’s nickname “Nation of Orphans” as 1/5 of Swazis are orphans & live in chronic poverty.
*If you would like to make a donation for Aimee’s trip you can make a donation on her Virgin Fund page here: http://goo.gl/c0CJlK. You can also attend Aimee’s Halloween Party at the McMaster Centre in Renfrew on 7th November. Tickets cost £5 and include a bar, DJ and a disco.