SEVEN students are on a life-saving mission to help an East African orphanage.
The Sunderland College group hopes to head to Tanzania to help staff and teach people about disease prevention.
To be able to take part in the July trip the students need to raise around £22,000 and have launched a fund-raising appeal.
Lisa Burns, 20, one of the student’s signed up to the adventure, said: “Every year diarrhoea kills around 1.5million children under five.
“Many of these are preventable and are caused by a lack of hygiene.
“We’re hoping to raise enough money to be able to travel to an orphanage to help the staff and teach them and the children about hygiene and sanitation.”
Mick Reavey, the lecturer organising the trip, said: “Something as simple as a bar of soap is considered an unaffordable luxury yet can help save so many lives.
“A lack of cash prevents the orphanage being able to buy the things that would help prevent disease and other basic items, such as bed sheets and play equipment.
“The children don’t always understand the link between germs and disease and with water being so precious the children don’t bother to wash their hands after going to the toilet or before they eat and as a result many get more ill, or even die.
“The trip is also about the students though.
“You see them develop so much through working with others outside their peer group and with those they would never have another opportunity to meet.”
The trip is being organised in conjunction with the University of Sunderland and is being run by The Mount Kilimanjaro First Aid Community Programme.
All the money raised is going towards supporting the trip and buying supplies for the orphanage.
The group has already held an exhibition of artwork by Tanzanian orphans and other fund-raising events planned include bake sales, bag-packs and an auction of ten tickets donated by Invest in Africa for the upcoming Sunderland AFC versus Manchester United football match.
Lisa, from Pennywell, added: “I’ve never done anything like this before.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for me to do some good. I hope by travelling to Tanzania I can get a bit of life experience and get a better idea of how other people live.”
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