A Mansfield woman is appealing for donations to help support a charity which she will be volunteering for in Kenya.
April Spence, 21, will travel to the African nation for three months with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), helping women and girls access education and improve their employability skills.
April said: “Many women rely on their husbands, and if something happens they have nothing to live on. VSO helps women with their independence, and teaches them that they can do things and have a positive impact.
“The charity helps women with scolarships to university, as there is a reduction in child marriages when women stay in education.
“I will be working in the community, supporting young women and girls claim their rights, including access to education, health services, sexual health services and other safety net services and working to create awareness on gender inequality, social inclusion and facilitating community dialogues on inclusive education and child protection.”
Young women and girls involved in the programme will learn life skills that can help prevent teenage pregnancy, reduce early marriages, and reduce the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
April said: “They will develop employability skills, entrepreneurship and access to scholarship schemes, as well as learning how education can improve their lives and their communities.
“I always wanted to let women know they can do anything a man can do.”
April, who is from Mansfield and owns bespoke tailoring business, Blue Oxen, in Chesterfield, said she was inspired by her tutor at Chesterfield College who suggested she looked into a programme it ran to send volunteers overseas.
However, on finding out the college no longer ran the scheme, April looked into other options and came across VCO. Although the cost of the trip is covered, April wants to raise £800 for VSO to support the work it carried out.
She has already held car boot and bake sales in conjunction with the National Citizenship Service and placed collection tins around art-based areas in Chesterfield.
April has also organised a contemporary dance workshop with Nottinghamshire-based JME Dance Company.
During her trip, she will live with a Kenyan host family in Loitoktok – a small town that borders Tanzania.
She said: “I’m going to a training weekend in September that prepares you for the reality of living with a host family in Kenya. “
April leaves on October 4, and has so far raised over £500 of her £800 target.
n To donate or follow April’s journey, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/April-Spence.
April Spence is fundraising for the charity she is volunteering in Kenya with through car boot and bake sales.
Who are Voluntary Service Overseas and what do they do?
VSO is an independent international development organisation that works through volunteers to fight poverty in developing countries. It brings people together to share skills, build capabilities, promote international understanding and action, and change lives to make the world a fairer place for all. Every day around 1,500 VSO volunteers are working in placements, sharing their experience and working to tackle poverty by empowering those really affected by it.
Over the past 60 years, VSO has supported more than 76,000 volunteers. VSO have sent volunteers out to the Nepal earthquake disaster in 2016, the Ebola epedemic in West Africa in 2014 and Rwanda after the 1994 genocide.