A busy paramedic is giving up her job to help impoverished communities in the African country of Tanzania.
Amy Stanton is leaving her family home in Thurnby in the Harborough district, and her steady job, to work for five months with some of the poorest communities in the world.
The 24-year-old said: “I suppose being a paramedic is a high-pressure job; dealing with people’s lives, it’s sink or swim.
“But I’ve been doing that for just over three years, and I’m reasonably confident in the job now.
“I just like the idea of this new challenge and getting out of my comfort zone again.
“I’m young and I don’t have any commitments, so it’s a good time to try to be useful.”
Amy will be flying into the Tanzanian capital Dar es Salaam, on the Indian Ocean, in the next few days.
She will be working on a development project in the eastern African country with sustainable development charity Raleigh International, which helps to provide access to safe water and sanitation.
“There’ll be a lot of building site jobs, so it will be physically demanding and I guess culturally demanding,” she added.
Amy will be managing a team of volunteers as part of British Government-funded programme International Citizen Service, mainly providing medical cover for British and Tanzanian volunteers, and passing on her first-aid skills.
Amy explained: “We’ll also be digging wells and laying water pipes and I’ll be making sure things are happening on time.
“Clean water is the key to a thriving, healthy community.
“I’ll also be providing medical cover and getting used to dealing with stuff in a very different way.
“For example, someone who might be routinely sent for an X-ray might get a splint for a while to see if they really need flying out.”
She will also learn about a wide variety of ailments not encountered in Harborough, from cholera and malaria to fly-borne diseases and severe dehydration.
Amy said: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I’m really excited about making a genuine difference to the lives of others.
“I decided to volunteer with Raleigh ICS so I can work on projects which will enable communities to help them help themselves and also to develop new skills myself.”
Amy is raising funds for the charity before her departure.
She has a fundraising website at www.justgiving.com/Amy-Stanton2.
The Government-funded citizen service allows young British people aged 18 to 25 to contribute to long-term development projects in one of 28 developing countries.
Brian Rockliffe, director of the citizen service, said: “We’re passionate about investing in young people – our future leaders – and using their energy to tackle poverty.”
Various charities deliver projects for the citizen service, including Raleigh International, which is a sustainable development charity which focuses on safe water and sanitation.