A local reporter is swapping her notepad and pen for a hi-vis vest and construction boots as she jets off for a month-long charity trip to Uganda.
Jessica Duncan, a reporter for free weekly paper the MK News, decided to take part in the trip organised by Soft Power Education, a joint British and Ugandan organisation working to help improve schooling for communities in the African country.
She, along with a group of other volunteers, will be building and refurbishing three primary schools, and helping the staff teach students.
Throughout the challenging experience, Jessica will be updating readers with their progress through a blog on the paper’s website.
In her first posting ahead of her flight out, she writes: “Nervous, on edge, but excited – these are just some of the feelings I am experiencing as I prepare for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
“Being in a new country for a month, staying with people I barely know and not having any home comforts is all starting to feel a bit daunting, but it only takes two seconds for me to realise this trip to Uganda is not about me but about the amazing people I will be helping and working with while I’m there.”
The volunteers will all live in classrooms on-site with no bathroom facilities or electricity, and have only been allowed to take one bag of essential clothing and equipment.
“Education is something this country takes for granted, but for children in Uganda the schools are overcrowded and unable to accommodate everyone, resulting in some youngsters never receiving lessons,” she added.
“It will definitely be challenging at times. Despite this, my aim is to ensure these children are able to receive the education we all take for granted.”