Rebecca Sankey with one of the College's West African Land Snails (Achatina marginata)

Caring Rebecca Set For African Adventure

Sun, 2002-07-14 01:00

Rebecca Sankey with one of the College's West African Land Snails (Achatina marginata)

An animal care student has started a fundraising drive in an aim to help fulfil a lifelong dream to travel to Africa and volunteer at an orphanage.

Rebecca Sankey, 20, from Chester-le-Street, who is a first year student studying at East Durham College’s Houghall Campus in Durham, has secured a place to travel to Ghana with charity organisation Thrive Africa.

Rebecca was originally inspired to travel to Africa when she was a pupil at Red Rose Primary School in Chester-le-Street, when her then head teacher Mrs Lees travelled to Africa and gave a moving presentation to the school on her return.

Since then Rebecca has always wanted to travel and volunteer in Africa and she has now just been offered the opportunity to realise her dream after successfully applying to the Thrive Africa project.

And Rebecca, who is studying on a Level 2 Diploma in Animal Care, is now hoping to raise £1500 to travel to Ghana for three weeks in March where she will not only be volunteering within an orphanage and also tying the trip in with her studies by taking part in relevant work experience at the Page Croc Pond Safari Park.

Rebecca, who has a two year-old boy named Harley, admits she is nervous about the trip but believes it will be a once in a lifetime experience.

Rebecca said: “I am really excited about the trip to Africa next year, but at the same time I am really nervous about the whole experience, I get butterflies just thinking about it.

“With being a mum, I’m especially nervous about working in the orphanage. I had always wanted to go into a career working with either disabled children or animals; but after my son was born I decided working with children may be too emotionally distressing, so I decided to pursue the animal route, hopefully to have a career protecting animals in some capacity or even working as a veterinary nurse.

“I’m really happy that I have started the course at Houghall. It’s a completely new way of learning for me, and I really enjoy it. Everyone is really friendly and so helpful; the whole environment is really helping me to progress through the course.”

Ian Hall, assistant programme leader in animal studies, said: “We are all really proud of Becca. She is a model student and this volunteer experience will certainly benefit her when she moves into a working environment.”

Thrive Africa provides opportunities for people to volunteer in Ghana on sustainable development projects and experience a taste of the development sector.

Their vision is to work with local stakeholders developing projects that bring positive sustainable outcomes, using the efforts of volunteers to deliver and achieve this vision.

And to help with Rebecca’s trip to Africa, you can donate at her fundraising page through Thrive Africa

You can also follow the Houghall Animal Care Team’s everyday goings-on via their Twitter feed @EDCAnimalCare or for more details on courses at Houghall please call 0191 375 4710.