Rachael Volunteers

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“The little boy with me in this photo is called Simba,” explained Rachael. “He was orphaned because his mother passed away and his dad was unable to care for him. He is now looked after by the wonderful volunteer caregivers."

Kind hearted Rachael Davies, from our Meadowhall and Leeds stores, has been working hard to help a community in Zimbabwe.

As part of a team of 20 from Mission Direct she spent 15 days in Mutare, Zimbabwe, helping to build a primary school for the United Baptist Church.  When they weren’t building, the team gave much needed assistance to the ‘Hope for AIDS’ HIV awareness and care ministry, undertaking home care visits to the sick and dying and meeting and caring for AIDS orphans with the TAFARA feeding programme.

IMG_7786   The 21-year-old, who comes from Barnsley and has worked for Hotter for 2 years, was inspired to volunteer for the trip to help raise funds for the local community in Mutare. Her own costs for the trip were self-funded, with all fundraising being put directly into charity projects. “Volunteering with Mission Direct allowed me to get involved with communities and projects that I otherwise would not be able to access. I wanted to make a difference to people’s lives through small changes that would have a big impact. I originally thought it would be me teaching and helping these communities, but these people taught me a lot.”

Despite the circumstances some people face, their positivity and enthusiasm for life is admirable

“It was a two hard weeks, mentally and physically, but so fulfilling.  Our team helped the local community by providing building materials and working on the construction of the primary school. The money we raised before the trip has gone towards providing food, clothes, learning resources and education. Not only that, but we were also able to provide 200 orphans with their first pair of school shoes.

“Next summer I hope to return to Zimbabwe to continue the building of the primary school and volunteer my services to the various charity projects that Mission Direct are involved with. I also hope to put a smile on many people’s faces by distributing Hotter Shoes out to members of the local community, which have kindly been donated by Hotter,” she added.

Rachael said: “Inside the Toughees boxes in these photos are pairs of school shoes for the orphans. For a lot of children this was their first pair of school shoes. We also bought school socks so the children would be able to wear the shoes straight away. Before the shoes arrived at the community centre the children were playing in the playground with footballs. The moment the shoes arrived, the children formed an orderly queue and waited patiently to be given their shoes and socks. Once the shoes were distributed, the children walked with great pride and beaming smiles, each preciously carrying their shoebox.”

Mission Direct is a Christian charity working in some of the poorest parts of the World. It supports local projects, building houses, schools and clinics with volunteer labour. It does this by providing short term volunteer teams from the UK.  To learn more please visit: www.missiondirect.org  


  • Barbara Rose says:

    It was so good to read about Rachael volunteering with Mission Direct in Zimbabwe. I could fully empathise with her feelings that there is so much hope in a place that seems so hopeless to us in UK. I volunteered (aged 71) with Mission Direct in Zambia in 2012 and came back feeling that I had been given so much more than I had offered. Well done to Hotter for giving shoes to these deserving children. I can just imagine the joy on their little faces when they received them that day. What stood out for me and Rachel echoes this is that the children are so polite and wait patiently in line for anything they are being given. I took part in a feeding programme at a school and it was most humbling to see hundreds of children wait patiently for the food to be served.

    All good wishes to Rachael for future visits to Zimbabwe.

  • Jenny Brauer says:

    Well done to Rachel and Hotter for their efforts in Mutate, Zimbabwe. Having lived in Africa I am always pleased to hear about charity being delivered direct to the deserving recipients.

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