A university student from Watton is trying to raise £1,500 to pay for a trip to the African country of Malawi where she intends to help victims of HIV-Aids .
Melissa Martinson, 22, wants to pass on the skills which she’s learned while studying Textile Crafts at Huddersfield University to enable Aids victims to create products which they could sell to make living.
She said: “When in the latter stages of the virus, it becomes very difficult for patient’s to continue day-to-day routines such as employment, which makes it very difficult to continue to provide for their family, but I believe that this project really could really make a difference.”
Later this month, as part of her final degree project, Melissa plans to go to the Mulanje Mission Hospital in the Mulanje District of Malawi in order to work directly with patients.
But she needs cash to help pay for flights, accommodation, materials and resources during her two-week stay – and she is therefore appealing for the public’s help.
The former Driffield School pupil added: “My ambition is for the project to become self-sustainable, whereby people will learn from each other and pass their knowledge on to others.
“Any donation, whatever the value, would mean than you’ve played your part in making a difference. Not only would you have helped me, but also many more worthy and less fortunate members of our worldwide community.”
Any excess in donations would be given to Mulanje Hospital, said Melissa, who intends to continue the project after her degree with the idea of targeting the Uk market with products made under the project.
She chose Malawi because of the ties already formed there with Driffield School.
The high rate of HIV-Aids is said to be one of the factors continuing to hamper the county’s economic development.
Most Malawians rely on subsistence farming, but the food supply but crops can be destroyed natural disasters such as drought and heavy rainfalls, so the country also needs thousands of tonnes of food aid every year.
Melissa’s fundraising page can be found at http://www.gofundme.com/n8ee30