Epsom girl south Africa-bound as part of Girl Guide volunteer effort

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Foresters Friendly Society donates £700

Epsom Guide Louisa Byrne will be volunteering at a charity in South Africa next month thanks to the generous donations of local individuals and organisations including the Foresters Friendly Society.

Louisa will volunteer at God's Golden Acre Khavelihle centre, which is dedicated to caring for children who have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS-related illness and violence, as part of her work with the Guides.

The 17-year-old will be joined by 15 other Girl Guides, aged between 14 and 18, from the London and South-East Guide movement. Four Guide leaders will accompany the group on the trip to the centre, located in the South African province of Kwa Zulu-Natal. Other Guides from the region will be volunteering at similar projects in Argentina and Mexico in the coming months.

God's Golden Acre Khayelihle strives to keep children in their community setting rather than families being forced to put children in orphanages.

Louisa has raised £2,500 to fund the trip thanks to the support of family, friends and the local community and the Foresters Friendly Society has provided Louisa with £700 to help cover the costs associated with her trip.

Foresters Friendly Society branch secretary Bert Choney said the organisation's branches support a wide range of charitable causes across the UK as well as looking after the interests and well-being of its members.

"The Foresters Friendly Society helps many local organisations and charities across the UK and we're thrilled to have had the opportunity to assist Louisa in volunteering her time to help those less fortunate."

"The Foresters Friendly Society, which celebrates its 175th anniversary this year, has always been committed to supporting the work of charities - and individuals donating their time to charitable causes," Mr Choney said.

Louisa, who has been a Guide since the age of ten, after joining the Brownies as a seven-year-old, said she was grateful for all of the donations and support she has received over the recent months.

"Many people would be aware of the troubling HIV/AIDS situation in South Africa and I feel so lucky to be able to experience first-hand the good work that God's Golden Acre is doing for those indirectly affected, as well as being able to help out - along with the other Guides - where I can."

"I am particularly grateful to the members of the Foresters Friendly Society, who donated £700 towards the £2,500 I needed to take part in the volunteer project."