alex ben combes
A WOMAN and her son are about to start an African adventure with a difference by reading stories to under-privileged children in the continent.
Alex Combes and 11-year-old Ben, from Ley Hill, are flying to Malawi tomorrow (Friday) to volunteer as storytellers with The Book Bus, a charity that works with children in Malawi, Zambia and Ecuador.
The charity has three mobile libraries and takes volunteer storytellers to locations where children have scant resources. It also leaves some books behind at the schools to help them start their own libraries.
Ms Combes, who works in publishing and has a background in teaching, came across the charity on a website.
“I thought what an amazing thing to do. We think it will be a fantastic opportunity to see life as it really is in Africa and make a difference while we’re there. I’m very excited,” she said.
“It’s nice to be able to give something to people who really need it. I always want to do more here for our own children but they comparatively have a great deal more in the UK than in Africa.”
Ben added: “I’m really excited and I think it’ll be a great experience to teach them stuff.
“I’m looking forward to going on a safari the most to see wild animals. I’d like to see a wild crocodile – they’re my favourite animal.”
Their first week will be spent in Malawi, where they will visit five schools in five days. They then move on to Zambia where they do the same for the second week.
Ms Combes is hoping to get one of the schools in Zambia to link with Ley Hill School.
She would also like to help raise more funds for the charity after her trip and is planning a quiz night for the near future.
To sponsor the Combes on their trip, visit www.justgiving.com/Alex-Combes.