Rachel to help women and children in Bolivia

Rachel Armstrong - off to Bolivia. INPT15-009
Rachel Armstrong - off to Bolivia. INPT15-009

A Portadown girl, who got a taste for humanitarian work while living as a child in India, is heading to Bolivia as a volunteer for three months.

Rachel Armstrong, from Seagoe Road, will be staying in the city of Cocha Bamba where she will be teaching English and music, taking an afterschool club and helping women with their business.

The daughter of former Portadown College teacher David Armstrong and his wife Olwen, who works in the Mandeville Unit, Rachel lived in India for 10 years after her dad took up a post in an international school there.

The music graduate is leaving for the trip next week as part of International Citizen Service (ICS), which brings young people together to fight poverty and make a difference where it is needed most.

Working alongside volunteers from Bolivia, ICS travels to communities that have specifically requested their help.

Rachel is partnering with Tearfund, one of the development agencies that deliver ICS. She said, “The money I have raised will allow them to continue to bring about positive change in the developing communities where they work.

“Our family has supported Tearfund in the past - mum would have had sales when we were younger - and that’s why I chose them.”

Rachel, who works with The Orchardville Society, helping to get adults with learning disabilities into employment, is due to take up a place on the RBS graduate management scheme in September.

A member of Windsor Baptist Church in Belfast, she held a fundraising coffee morning at the church but is still accepting donations via her justgiving page as she is taking out supplies such as books.

She will be staying with a local family and although she expects the accommodation to be “pretty basic” is excited about going. She said, “I am looking forward to getting to know the women in the community and helping them boost sales of their cereal bars. All the money they make goes to schooling for their children.”