Selfless teenager helps raise £4k to support African community

Ehrin Walsh spends time in Kilimanjaro.

Ehrin Walsh spends time in Kilimanjaro.

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A dedicated teenager has raised thousands of pounds for a charity supporting children in part of Africa.

Ehrin Walsh, 17, has spent two years raising £4,400 for the Mount Kilimanjaro First Aid Community Programme (MKFACP), which delivers lifesaving workshops in Tanzania, eastern Africa.

But nothing could prepare me for what I saw

Ehrin Walsh

The St Thomas Moore RC sixth form pupil, who went to Tanzania last year for six weeks, has raised the money through activities including bag packing, cake sales, raffles and a community ceilidh.

Ehrin, who was awarded with the Junior International Humanitarian Volunteer 2014, said: “I felt like I needed to do something in my life which would help benefit others and not myself.

“When I went out to Africa last year, I had an idea of what to expect. But nothing could prepare me for what I saw. I was really shocked and quite upset at the living conditions.”

MKFACP aims to help alleviate poverty through the power of education.

Director Christina Wren said: “It is wonderful to see the support that Ehrin receives off the local community and his family, it’s at times like these that you see people really pull together to help someone else achieve their dream.

“Ehrin has worked really hard over the last two years, not only in Africa, but back home in his community. We are very pleased to have him in our gang.”

Ehrin, who is currently taking A-Levels with the hopes of becoming a teacher, will join other members from across the UK on his trip to Tanzania this year.

In Tanzania he will be working with the project to once again teach first aid, HIV awareness, sex education and hygiene awareness.

He said: “When I was given the opportunity to head out again, there was no doubt.

“Last year I learnt first aid so that when I went over I could teach it to teachers and pupils at the local schools.

“I was also involved with the HIV awareness programme. This programme is taught through football skills to help break down the language barrier.”

He added: “As well as going to Africa and all the fundraising, we must complete at least two hours of giving back to the community, so what I do is on a Friday whenever I am free I will go to the lunching club in Blyth and there, I serve the elderly their morning coffee, or tea, then they get their lunch and a desert and then we play some games with them like bingo, or higher or lower with cards which they all love.”

If you would like to support Ehrin in his journey, email info@kilimanjarofirstaidcommunityprogram.com