Karis McQuoid is taking a break from her job at the People’s Palace in Glasgow to work with orphaned children in Tanzania.
The 19-year-old from Motherwell has worked at Encore’s Winter Gardens for three years, and is currently studying towards a degree in zoology, with the hope of relocating to Africa permanently.
The self-funded trip to Tanzania will see Karis and a group of friends spend over two weeks at Moshi Children’s Christian Centre (MCCC), located on the slopes of Kilimanjaro.
There they will provide food, supplies and games to the orphaned and disadvantaged children of the area.
As well as working in the centre, Karis will also be spending time with children from the local community, through the MCCC’s community help programme.
Karis is currently raising money to give every child on the programme a desperately needed pair of shoes and a t-shirt.
She said: “The team of volunteers is paying its own way to Africa in order to help the children in Moshi as they have so little and appreciate anything they receive.
“The community project is extremely important as without it, kids would be working in fields or selling fruit on the streets in order to make enough money to eat.
“The children often have no shoes, and end up standing in glass which can lead to infections they are unable to fight. By providing shoes they can at least be safe from that.”
This isn’t Karis’s first trip to Tanzania having lived lived there for six months in 2008 with her parents.
A return trip last year motivated her to organise her current endeavour, which she plans to make a regular event.
Julia McCreadie, head of Encore Hospitality Services, said: “It’s great to hear that Karis is going out to Tanzania to help the disadvantaged children in the area.
“While the aim of our organisation is to help people every day, it is fantastic that one of our team is going above and beyond to make a difference in the lives of the children living in extreme poverty. “
If you would like to donate to Karis, visit her Just Giving page