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Active Citizens make Malawi dream come true

Issued: 14 Jun 2010

A year of non stop fundraising - supported by the wider Nairn Community - reaches its climax on Saturday 19 June when 24 Nairn Academy Sports Leaders accompanied by 3 members of staff travel to Malawi to build on and investigate the sustainability of their Dreams and Teams Project started in 2006.

This year's trip, although building on previous visits, will also introduce a new personal development programme to the Malawian girls.

The Sports Leaders UK Woman Get Set Go Award, which is supported locally by Coaching Highland, has been specifically designed for women and girls (14 years and over). The programme aims to encourage females to enter into community leadership positions and to develop their involvement both for their own benefit and for the benefit of the community in general. Many of the Nairn young leaders have already completed the award therefore in Malawi they hope to act as mentors and share their experiences as young leaders in the Nairn Community.

Sustainable development is also on the agenda. This will be addressed through The John Muir Award in the hope that the final result will give both groups the opportunity to share ideas around appreciating and improving their environment. The group also hope to assist the Malawians in setting up a gardening project that could raise money for school improvement. When the Malawians visited Scotland last summer they visited the gardening project at Inverness High School to demonstrate the possibilities.

Elizabeth McDonald, Highland Council's Active Schools Coordinator said: "The involvement in the Dreams and Teams project has allowed the Nairn Sports Leaders, trained through the Active Schools Initiative, not only to share other cultures but also increase their employability and life skills by gaining extra qualifications. In the last two years they have also become peer educators in HIV /Aids, gained various awards in a variety of sports, First Aid, Youth Achievement and Volunteering awards."

All participants paid a minimal amount towards this three week visit with the challenge being to raise the rest of the money showing their enterprising skills by organising wide and varied fund raising activities. As a result of their active citizenship the group have become high profile in the community supporting at local events such as a Santa's Grotto Nairnshire Challenge and Nairn 10k.

Sheena MacGillivray, Deputy Head, Nairn Academy said: "Our thanks go out to the many supporters in the Nairn Community who responded positively
by providing outstanding financial and in- kind support which has been without doubt a major factor in the success of this year's trip. Financial support was also donated from further afield including The Wood Group Family Trust, the Commonwealth Youth Exchange Council and others too many to mention."

© 2010 Highland Public Services Partnership.
Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme