An­gel of hope to Uganda

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By TERESA HAT­TAN

One young Mata­mata woman is set­ting out to make a dif­fer­ence.

Eigh­teen- year- old Anna Watkins plans on vis­it­ing Uganda in Jan­uary as part of a mis­sion trip.

The Mata­mata Col­lege stu­dent will de­part on Jan­uary 2 for the African na­tion, where she will work in an or­phan­age for three weeks.

Watkins will be vis­it­ing the Wa­toto Chil­dren’s Vil­lage in part­ner­ship with the TEAR Fund.

The young woman read about the op­por­tu­nity from a brochure her mum came across at the Para­chute mu­sic fes­ti­val fea­tur­ing mis­sion trips.

Watkins said she has al­ways been quite in­ter­ested in Africa, es­pe­cially Rwanda. She be­lieves Uganda will be quite sim­i­lar.

‘‘I wanted to do a gap year, but I de­cided a month might be more ap­pro­pri­ate.’’

Once she re­turns to New Zealand she will start her nurs­ing train­ing. ‘‘I’m think­ing that once I’ve fin­ished my nurs­ing train­ing, I’d like to go back and do aid work.’’

Watkins won’t be trav­el­ling alone, 10 oth­ers will also be trav­el­ling across the globe to do their bit.

‘‘ Some peo­ple have been telling me it’s go­ing to be

up-com­ing dan­ger­ous and I know it is. But I haven’t started wor­ry­ing about it. I might get a lit­tle bit ner­vous be­fore the trip.’’

Con­cerns have been raised about Ebola, but Watkins said she knows they’re not go­ing to be in­volved in any of that.

‘‘ If it’s a threat then we won’t be go­ing.’’

The cost for the trip is just un­der $10,000, which in­cludes a $ 1200 do­na­tion to the or­phan­age. Watkins has ap­proached sev­eral or­gan­i­sa­tions and has also saved money from work­ing this year and her al­lowance. To date, she’s about half way there.

Once school fin­ishes, Watkins will be work­ing full­time and could pos­si­bly or­gan­ise fundrais­ing ac­tiv­i­ties through her church.

She was ex­cited to do her bit to help out the world. Work­ing with young chil­dren will also be great, she said.

‘‘ We’re also go­ing to be do­ing some sort of ex­pe­di­tions while we’re over there, there’s the op­por­tu­nity to do a sa­fari and white wa­ter raft­ing on the Nile.’’

The whole trip will be a lot of hands-on work.

Along with a do­na­tion to the or­phan­age, Anna also needs to take gifts for the chil­dren and fam­i­lies they will have con­tact with.

- If you can help Anna, email rox­bor­ough­farm@ gmail.com.

Photo: TERESA HAT­TAN

OVER­SEAS EX­PE­RI­ENCE: Mata­mata Col­lege stu­dent, Anna Watkins, is head­ing to Uganda in Jan­uary on a mis­sion trip.

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