This summer we're running a trip to the HIV/AIDS project we're supporting in Serenje, which is in Zambia. You can read all the details about the trip, along with lots more information on the project, on our website, so I won't repeat it all here.
What I do want to do is to really encourage people to consider going. We're looking for 10-12 people to go with a mix of people with building skills and teachers, but if your skills lie in a different area then please don't let that stop you applying.
Anyone who has ever been on a trip like this will know that they can be life changing encounters. I personally was 'ruined' when I went to Serenje eighteen months ago. Having seen what HIV/AIDS has done to wipe out an entire generation, to see households with a Grandmother supporting a dozen or more orphans, to sit in a hut with a mother dying of AIDS whilst her children watched on in desperation broke my heart. And yet to know that the solutions to these problems are not that complicated. That the ARV drugs which slow down the onset of AIDS are readily available but only work if people take them every day and have enough food. That it doesn't cost much (in our terms) to see a child through primary and secondary school education and give them a real future. That a few changes to the way people farm can move them from scratching an existence to generating an income. That now motivates me to want to do what I can to make a difference.
The trip isn't cheap, but please don't let that be a barrier to you going. Why not start to 'pray the money in', ask friends or relatives if they could help, do a sponsored event, or if you're a youngster apply for a grant. And don't let age be a barrier either. Anyone from teenagers to those in their 70's can go and make a huge contribution.
If you are interested fill in an application form and get it in by the 22nd March. If you do have any questions then please speak to me, or to Zoe Hayes who will be leading the trip.
Go for it!