FOR MOST of us, hearing about the plight of children in countries like Uganda is enough to make our hearts ache.
But most of us wouldn’t pack our bags, fundraise thousands of dollars, and set off on a plane to help build-up in-need communities with our own hands.
For a group of volunteers from the district, including Daylesford’s Peita Herrick and 14-year-old Castlemaine student Jezabel Furlong, putting in the long hours and backbreaking work is exactly what they plan to do come March.
The project is being run through OrphFund, a volunteer-run organisation that aims to help orphaned and vulnerable children across the globe.
OrphFund promises that 100 per cent of donations go directly to the kids in need rather than money being used for administrative costs.
The upcoming four-week Ugandan project will see the group of volunteers finishing off a school with rendering, plastering, painting and possibly an extension.
Ms Herrick, a fashion designer and tailor who has gone on several overseas aid trips to destinations including India, also said she also planned to teach children tailoring schools while abroad.
She said the difference in quality of life between countries like Australia and Uganda was devastating.
“There is no rhyme or reason and it is unfair and it’s heartbreaking every day.”
For Ms Herrick, the projects are labours of love.
“When I started travelling in India 20 years ago, you’re right there in extreme poverty and lack of opportunity,” she said.
“You realise how simply, for very little money, you can make an enormous difference to someone’s life. For $50, you can set up a business for someone.”
Each of the volunteers are required to pay their own travel and costs as well as raise between $2000 to $3000 for the projects.
Miss Furlong hopes to raise a whopping $4000 and has been busy running market stalls and donating her own pocket money.
She described the trip to Uganda, which will see her teaching children and starting self-sustaining projects as well as working on the school building, as “a once in a lifetime opportunity”.
She has also set up a fundraising day in Castlemaine on February 27 at the Girl Guide Hall with live performances, balloon animals, clowns, a jumping castle and more.
Miss Furlong has set up a online donation page. To donate, visit www.mycause.com.au/page/117676/orphfund-uganda-2016-10th-birthday-project
For more information on OrphFund, visit www.orphfund.org
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