Grandmother’s care is un-container-ble
Bradford resident prepares for aid mission to poverty-stricken Burkina Faso
The appeal for donations is over and the time for action has arrived as a Bradford grandmother prepares to take on her latest aid mission in Africa.
55-year-old Razia Amini has spent the past year collecting all sorts of supplies from school uniforms to books, and sewing machines to computers, in anticipation of her trip to Burkina Faso in August.
Last week, on Wednesday 24th June, the Heaton resident was given a helping hand as she loaded the huge collection onto a 40-foot long container, ready to be distributed in some of the world’s most remote areas.
With the container expected to arrive in eight to ten weeks, Razia will join the cargo later this summer where she will help deliver and distribute the goods.
Having already completed similar missions to the Gambia in recent years alongside the Humanity First charity, this year’s trip will be her first time in Burkina Faso.
“To finally send off the container is a big achievement and I want to thank everybody who has donated or helped the appeal in some way,” Razia said.
“We have previously only taken 20-foot containers but this year we have doubled the size of the donations which will hopefully help twice as many people. It is literally full to the brim.”
She added: “A special mention must go out to Queensbury School in Bradford and Huddersfield’s Almondbury Community School for their support.”
Upon arrival, Razia and two other fundraisers from Humanity First are hoping to set up self-operating ‘sewing centres’, taking with them 80 sewing machines and all basic equipment.
“Our initial plan is to hire one member of staff,” she explained. “She will be trained in the field before she then shares her knowledge and skills to the group which will enable the site to run independently and self-sufficiently.
“The products they make, and services provided, will help them earn a wage in an area of major unemployment and also act as a safe place for the ladies.”
As well as utilising the many sewing machines, Razia has also collected enough books to open her own mini library with more than 9,000 donated of every genre.
These will be taken to schools alongside enough facilities to furnish at least four full classrooms and thousands of items of stationery.
With toys, clothes and even medical supplies also included in the unit, Razia says she is now ready to take on the mission.
“After all the hard work of collecting the goods, I am now looking forward to going out there in August,” she said.
“It will be a new experience for me in Burkina Faso but one I hope to take full advantage of.”