Linlithgow school girl Francesca Thomson has recently returned from a trip of a lifetime where she helped children in Malawi.
Francesca (16), a fifth year pupil at Mary Erskine’s School in Edinburgh, was one of 12 pupils and two teachers who made the two week trip to Africa.
While there, she helped to paint the school’s administration block, worked in its nursery, attended a traditional church service and visited the local hospital.
She said: “These two weeks were the most incredible of my life and it was an emotional roller coaster.
“We stayed with the girls in the boarding school and experienced life as a boarder there, which included sleeping in very basic dormitories, having bucket showers and using the toilet block in the pitch black with bats flying overhead.
“All of these things contributed to a fantastic life experience which I will never forget. It really opened our eyes to the issues the country faces but, at the same time, showed us what can be achieved with very little.
Francesca added: “To be back in Scotland feels very odd but the trip really left a deep impression on me and I hope to go back to Malawi in a few years time.”
The teenager would like to thank everyone who helped contribute to her fundraising activities, which included a ceilidh which raised £1300 alone.
While her imminent future is to go to university, she hopes to return to Malawi before taking up her studies.