Volunteer hoping to make her way to Africa

Samantha Stanley is trying to raise money to travel to Kenya in order to help children.  - Colleen Flanagan/The News
Samantha Stanley is trying to raise money to travel to Kenya in order to help children.
— image credit: Colleen Flanagan/The News

Garibaldi secondary student Samantha Stanley is trying to raise money to travel to Africa, where she hopes to volunteer with the Free the Children aid organization and build a school.

Stanley hopes to help do so in rural Kenya, as well as teach English at an elementary school during her three-week stay.

“It’s a long way from home, and I’ve never really travelled before,” she says. “But if I work my butt off, I hope I’ll get there.”

The biggest issue facing the children of Kenya is the spread of AIDS, says Stanley. The schools help break the cycle of poverty and disease by providing children with an education.

Many of the schools built by Free The Children are also built with a large water tank, so students can take fresh water home with them.

“In African cultures, it’s the women who are responsible for getting clean water every day. So if a girl has to travel miles to fetch water, she won’t be able to go to school,” she says. “Poverty, lack of water, AIDS, education, it’s all related.”

Stanley is hoping to raise more than $6,000 for the trip. Members of the local Rotary and Lions chapters have already help contribute some money.

Stanley is planning a charity car wash at  Kirmac Collision on Saturday, April 16 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with refreshments and music.

Stanley and her class mates in Garibaldi secondary’s Youth Action Team have already helped raise $10,000 in the past three years to help build a school in Sierra Leone.

“My generation wasn’t nearly as socially responsible,” says her father, Dan. “It gives me hope for the future to see kids so involved these days.”

• To donate and read Samantha's blog, click here.

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