Friends from across north Suffolk set for challenge in Uganda
IT was once an African nation torn apart by economic ruin and civil strife.
But a group of friends from across north Suffolk have set their sights on a far-flung adventure to help improve the lives of children in Uganda.
The gruelling trip will see them staying in a local village, while teaching English to school children and helping to construct community buildings.
It is an initiative organised by the charity Soft Power Education, which recruits volunteers from abroad to help improve primary education in Uganda.
At present, the group hopes to give the organisation a �1,800 cash boost before they arrive in August by holding a host of charity events.
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Imogen Wiltshire (17) and Maddy Adey (17) of Southwold, Polly Davies (17) of Oulton Broad, Eleanor Moore (17) of Carlton Colville, Sophie Whyte (17), and Francis Paynter (18) of Lowestoft are putting on cake sales, a cross country run, and a charity dinner at The Bell pub in Carlton Colville.
Imogen said her aunt from Africa had tried to persuade her not to go to Uganda because of its reputation for being dangerous.
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She said: 'If you look up Uganda on the internet you can see it has a problem with gun crime, and when I told my aunty she said 'really do you have to go to Uganda?', but we will be in the southern part of the country which has a reputation for not being as dangerous.
'We will mostly be working with the community and helping in education mostly by building schools and teaching – it will give us the chance to do manual work and the chance to help in the classroom as well.'
She added: 'We have never done anything like this before so we really want to challenge ourselves.'
The group is planning to spend a month in Uganda, flying out on July 15 and coming back on August 15.
They begin their adventure when they land in Entebbe, a major town in central Uganda, before catching a two-hour taxi to the Jinja district where they will be staying.
The trip will cost each of them �1,000, but they have stressed the money they are raising will not fund their expenses.
Eleanor said: 'It is good because all the money we are raising will go straight to the people who need it. We don't want people to think it is funding us to go on holiday.'
Soft Power Education was established in 1999 to support the Uganda government to help it improve primary education for children.
If you would like to donate money to the charity, or book a table for the charity dinner held at The Bell pub, The Street, Carlton Colville on February 23, contact Eleanor Moore on firstname.lastname@example.org, or donate online http://www.justgiving.com/softpower2012