It’s a long way from Worthing!

Adam, Zac and Danny are just three teenagers growing up in Worthing. They’re not rich or particularly privileged and they each had to raise £1,000 to fund a life changing trip to Ethiopia. So what inspired them to go?

The Zone Project provides an opportunity for young people to travel overseas and get involved in one of Cred Foundation’s international projects. The Zone is an opportunity to:

  • Travel overseas with other children, young people and adults from the UK.
  • Work with some of the poorest, yet happiest children on earth.
  • Have your views on life shaken and stirred.
  • Raise sponsorship for an international project that is not only serving local people, but run by them!

Adam Bourner, 16, Zac Cook, 16, and Danny Harris, 14, joined the CRED foundation’s project in Addis Ababa in October. None of the boys had been outside their immediate community before. As part of its 10th anniversary celebrations, Worthing Homes teamed up with children’s charity Spurgeons to support the ‘Kids to Ethiopia’ initiative. The three boys are all regulars at Mick’s Garage Community House, an award winning community project supported by Worthing Homes.

Leigh-Anna Barber, community development worker for Spurgeons, worked with the kids to raise £1,000 for their trip. Leigh-Anna commented: “I feel very proud of the young people; they have shown courage and commitment to the fund raising and each other. The impact of this experience is truly life changing. They now have real insight into the challenges that their counterparts in poorer countries face every day. It certainly has an effect in their own attitudes to everyday life back home.”

The three boys worked at two schools in the city’s slum area. They worked with children, engaging them in games and craft activities, overcoming the language barrier with techniques they had learned before they went.

The huge gap between the rich and poor in Ethiopia had a big impact on Adam, Zac and Danny. They noticed that whilst the hotel boasted a large fountain, fresh water was very scarce in the neighbouring slums. When they talked to a group of street kids they were shocked to hear that they were sleeping rough in the open and their parents had all died. Adam, Danny and Zac say they have been changed by the experience and have a better appreciation of the life chances they have at home. They are also more mindful of wasting water and food, having seen how little there is in Ethiopia.

The Cred Foundation’s Zone project is a yearly event and are interested in enquiries from teenagers who might want to get involved in the future. Currently, there are already plans to send seven young people to Burma in 2010. For more information, please contact our Resident Liaison Officer (details below).