St. Thomas teens gearing up for a big humanitarian mission to Malawi
Still in grade ten, India Parker and Clark Renaud already have a global mindset. Since they were ten years old, the duo have raised over 20-thousand dollars for the children of Malawi.
"We'd done bake sales, yard sales, dances, and spaghetti dinners," says Parker.
Many households in the land locked African nation are child led. In most cases, both parents were lost to the HIV/Aids crisis with young children raising their siblings as a result.
Next month, they'll be able to see the after effects of their humanitarianism when they travel to Malawi. Renaud, a compeitive St. Thomas Soccer player will be running a five-day skills camp.
"I've been playing soccer my whole life, so I thought this would be a great idea for me, teach them some soccer," says Renaud.
Thanks to donations, he will be able to deliver over 130 St. Thomas Soccer Club jerseys to the children there.
Parker has organized a conference which includes literacy & self defence training. She also hopes to educate the young African girls about the negativty surrounding early marriage and sexual activity.
"I'm passionate about women's health care," says Parker. "The conference is education about staying in school, not getting married young, or going through the tradional sexual initations"
All semester, the Central Elgin Collegiate students have getting credit for this mission through an interdiciplinary studies course.
"They've been doing research papers, interviews worked with community agencies and contacted people in Africa," says teacher Jennifer Larocque.
"They've also tapped into careers in this type of work if they want to continue this, and really done a broad amount of learning in different areas of study.
She adds she can't wait to see them in September to hear their stories from their July trip.
"I think what I'm most excited for is the food and different cultures," says Renaud.
"What i'm most excited for is meeting the kids," says Parker. "We've been working for six years, so I want to see them face to face, and look at a bit of the impact we've made on their lives."
For those wishing to learn more about this trip, or to contribute click the link.