Jayne’s trip to help African youngsters

Hertford Vale Ta Jayne Graves is heading  to Malawi. Pictured with pupils Oskar Olsen,and Michael Ward.Picture Richard Ponter 141213
Hertford Vale Ta Jayne Graves is heading to Malawi. Pictured with pupils Oskar Olsen,and Michael Ward.Picture Richard Ponter 141213
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A Scarborough teaching assistant is all set to head out on a volunteering mission to Malawi.

Jayne Graves, who works a Hertford Vale Primary School, will embark on her two-week trip to help orphaned children at the start of April.

She is travelling to Tikondwe in Zomba, a poverty-stricken area where access to education is limited.

Jayne, of East Ayton, says she was inspired to return to Africa and after climbing Kilimanjaro two years ago and seeing people living in poverty first-hand.

She explained: “I wanted to go back and see what I could do to help. I’m feeling excited but a bit apprehensive too, especially about travelling out alone, but when I get there I know that the volunteer group will just be at the end of the phone.”

Jayne’s trip has been organised through Original Volunteers, which sends volunteers out to over 100 projects across 18 countries.

She will be helping look after and teach orphaned children, who either live in an orphanage or with local families.

Jayne explained: “There’s a feeding programme in place and it costs £1 to feed a child for approximately two days.

“The children have been bringing money into school to go towards it - everyone has been so supportive.”

Youngsters, parents and colleagues have also donated items such as crayons, paper, pencils, pens and exercise books.

Jayne said: “It’s been brilliant - I’m going to have a heavy suitcase! The children have been amazing - they’ve all been busy going through their pencil cases looking for things they no longer need.” Jayne is also taking some Hertford Vale sweatshirts for the children.

As a teaching assistant, Jayne normally works with children in reception class aged four to five years old.

In Malawi, she will be looking after youngsters, aged three to seven, in the morning and older children, aged seven to 13, in the afternoon. She said: “I’m looking forward to it - it’ll be a challenge. I’ve read some blogs and people say the children are really positive.”