Pauline hits the town before trip
Nurse speaks to Reformer ahead of Sierra Leone return
Pauline Cafferkey found a unique way to prepare for her upcoming trip to Sierra Leone – by going on a Glasgow “subcrawl”.
The Cambuslang-based nurse became the first British person to be infected by Ebola in December 2014.
Since then she has faced several relapses and set-backs, but is now looking to enjoy life again.
She will head back to the African country where she caught the disease next week to raise money for the Street Child charity.
And to add a little extra to their pot, Pauline roped 14 pals into going on the subcrawl to attract donations from punters.
She laughed: “It was really good fun and went really well.
“That was my first time doing the subcrawl. We never managed a drink in every pub, mainly because we had a few in the first, but we did make it all the way around.
“We were all dressed as old women. My sister was especially noticeable because she was dressed as [TV character]Mrs Brown.
“We raised a couple of hundred pounds from the people in the pubs and those with us donated about that much as well.”
Pauline will jet out to Sierra Leone next week to participate in Street Child’s annual fundraising marathon with two friends.
She was treating those suffering from Ebola in 2014 when she caught the disease.
But, speaking to the Reformer, the 41-year-old said she was excited to be returning. “I am looking forward to it,” she said. “People keep asking if I am worried about catching Ebola again but, if anything, I don’t have a chance of catching it because I will be immune.
“Sierra Leone is one of the poorest countries in the world. It suffered from civil war for a long time and had just started to recover when Ebola struck.
“The people are nice but they have had such a horrible time. I’ll be going back this time at a different stage for the country.”
Street Child is a UK charity, established in 2008, that aims to create educational opportunity for some of the world’s most vulnerable children.
They were active in Sierra Leone while Pauline was there previously, but she only found out about them when she returned to the UK and they asked her to do a talk.
With a particular focus on getting young women into education, the charity aim to tackle barriers such as poverty, teenage pregnancy, early marriage, loss of a caregiver and a lack of support from adults and the community.
Pauline said: “Right now they are doing a campaign to get 500 teenage mothers into educations.
“There are so many teenage pregnancies there because young women are forced to have sex for food or money.
“They have also identified 1,400 Ebola orphans to help. A lot of the times it is younger members of the family who need to head the household because they have lost their parents. They drop out of school to look after their siblings.
“While we are there we will be able to see some of the work they are doing.”
Pauline’s whole trip is being selffunded which means any money she raises goes to Street Child.
Pauline is fundraising for UK NGO Street Child to help 1,400 seriously at-risk Ebola orphans to rebuild their lives. Go to https://tinyurl.com/mohem4o for more information.
My sister was especially noticeable because she was dressed as Mrs Brown
Dress sense Pauline Cafferkey at Bridge St Subway station with fellow subcrawlers Crawling around Pauline and her pals all set for their charity subcrawl