October 26 2014 Latest news:
Sam Blewett, Reporter
Thursday, April 10, 2014
A 17-year-old girl is fundraising for a 12-month trip to South Africa where she will help out in an orphanage.
Shannon Low, of Dawes Avenue, Hornchurch, was chosen for the charity trip after a week-long selection process in the Isle of Coll, Scotland, and is gearing up for her August departure by raising the £5600 needed to go.
The student at Sacred Heart of Mary Girls’ School, Upminster, said: “I’m quite nervous but at the moment I’m more excited.
“I’m mainly scared about being away from home, I’ve been on school trips but that’s not the same. I will be in a totally new environment.”
In the orphanages Shannon will care for babies as well as older children up to the age of 16 feeding and caring for them.
As well as benefiting others, she believes the experience will enrich herself too.
She said: “At the moment I don’t know what I want to do as a job but maybe something in the public sector so I might get an understanding of what it’s like to be a social worker.”
The trip, arranged by volunteering charity Project Trust, will also gain her a Global Citizenship Qualification.
To raise funds, Shannon is hosting weekly boot sales, dance nights and a sponsored wakeathon where she will stay awake all night.
Worried mum Frances Low, 47, said: “I am very proud of Shannon embarking on this journey and although it is very hard work, and daunting, raising this sort of money it is a real eye opener and has made Shannon use her initiative.
“She is working really hard with her A-levels and her Saturday job it is a lot of responsibility for a 17 year old. We are proud but concerned because where she is going is not without its dangers - HIV is rife and there are other dangers with regard to her safety.”