Bundy duo making a difference for Africa's poorest people
WHEN mum and daughter duo Wendy and Macey Warren travelled to Africa recently, it was a trip that opened their eyes, hearts and souls.
The pair were part of a group of seven Bundaberg residents who signed up for Bernie Kelly's Global Immersion, an organisation that brings youth together to serve African schools and form global leadership networks capable of making a real difference.
From volunteering at the school of St Jude in Arusha, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and witnessing the amazing sights and sounds of the African safari, Wendy and Macey saw many aspects of the country.
"It was eye opening,” Wendy said.
"We are definitely richer in financials in Australia, but I don't know if we are richer in happiness.”
The pair started their three-week venture on December 2 with volunteer work at St Jude's school where underprivileged children are given a chance to thrive.
"The school is totally run by donations and the children come from very, very poor families,” Wendy said.
"Only one person from each family can go to the school, then they go home and pass on their knowledge to their family to help sustain them.
"As part of our trip, we were to raise $1000 each which went towards one child's school fees for the year.
"We got to meet our sponsor child and visit her house which was just a mud hut with no doors.”
From there, the group travelled to Moshi where they painted classrooms and helped with an athletics day.
"That first part of the trip was all about giving and it really taught us how lucky we are to be living in Australia,” Wendy said.
"It put things into perspective.”
The second part of the trip involved determination and grit, as the group climbed Mount Kilimanjaro as part of a "self-awareness” activity.
"It was a massive mental and physical strain and probably the hardest thing we have ever had to do,” Wendy said.
At the end of the trip, the group got to experience the wildlife of Africa with a safari trip through Tarangire National Park.
Wendy and Macey said the three weeks were an emotional and physical roller-coaster but said they would do it all again in a heartbeat.
"The reason we decided to sign up in the first place was because Bernie Kelly spoke about the trip at Macey's school, St Luke's Anglican College,” Wendy said.
"Macey came home that day with the urge to help the children and for me, it was about jumping out of my comfort zone and being able to help Macey with her dream.”
If Global Immersion sounds like something you would like to be part of, find out more at globalimmersion.com.au