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Trip of a lifetime for volunteer


HELPING HAND: Jill Brierly heads to Kenya this week to work in disadvantaged communities.

Mangawhai’s Jill Brierly is about to travel to an orphanage in Kenya as a volunteer in four weeks with the Global Volunteer Network (GVN) to work on various humanitarian projects in disadvantaged communities.

Jill will be among other volunteers working with local organizations caring for orphaned children. She has the opportunity to help children in need – children who have lost their parents to HIV/AIDS, children who have been abused by their parents and children whose parents are not able to provide for them. 

“These kids need love, attention, life skills, and education,” says Jill “so they can have successful futures free from poverty and filled with the same opportunities as others.”

Jill has done volunteer work locally through the arthritis and cancer societies and, having travelled the rocky road with a granddaughter suffering from cancer, she has first-hand experience of the hardship and emotional toll on families so is happy to be able to give assistance where it is most needed.

Kenya, like many African countries, is badly affected by poverty and AIDS. The number of orphans and street children is growing. Jill says volunteers are urgently needed to work in the community, orphanage and neighboring schools, educating and counseling students (at school) and community members about the disease.

Over the past 11 years GVN has built up strong ties with grass roots organisations throughout the world, and placed over 17,000 volunteers.

Jill and other supporters have been knitting beanies and other items of warm clothing to distribute to some of the children in need. Though this is Africa it is not always as hot as we imagine.

Global Volunteer Network founder and president, Colin Salisbury, says Jill’s trip abroad will be far from a relaxing vacation. 

“Jill will be working five days a week and will be provided simple living arrangements. Her dedication, and the impact she will have, is a noteworthy one.” 

The Global Volunteer Network is a Charitable Trust based in New Zealand that connects people with communities in need. To find out more visit globalvolunteernetwork.org.

The Mangawhai Focus is the only 'Mangawhai' community Newspaper and is the paper of choice within the local area.

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