A schoolgirl is heading to Malawi later this year to work with a charity helping teenage girls receive an education.
Francesca Thomson (15) will make the trip in October with 11 other girls and three teachers from her school, Mary Erskine’s in Edinburgh.
The trip is being run in conjunction with The Chesney Trust charity, whose aim is to educate the young girls and give them skills to enable them to earn money in the future. While there, the group will visit the Edinburgh Girls’ High School.
Francesca, who lives in Linlithgow with parents Andonella and Stuart and sister Gaby, said: “I’m looking forward to seeing the new culture and I think it will be eye-opening. The girls we will be meeting will be our age and we’re also going to go to their church with them on the Sunday so I’m looking forward to hearing the singing.
“The whole trip is quite daunting because it’s so different to what we have at home and I think it will be a shock to see the poverty over there. It’s going to be emotional.”
Before she heads to Africa, Francesca is raising money, partly to fund her trip and also buy things to take on her trip.
She added: “I’m keen to take as much with me as possible. The girls there don’t even have access to sanitary products and I’m hoping to take over other clothes and toys for the younger children.
“One of my teachers told us she’d given balloons to nursery children to play with and they didn’t know what to do with them.
‘‘We held a dance festival and the money from that is going towards building a new hostel at the school, which we will stay in if it’s ready in time.”