African helper is nominated

PUBLISHED: 16:05 19 April 2007 | UPDATED: 10:19 31 May 2010

Kate Pike

Kate Pike

TEENAGER Kate Pike is in the running for a cash prize to reward the exceptional humanitarian work she has performed in Africa. At just 19-years-old, the Victoria Avenue woman has travelled to South Africa to provide aid no less than five times, an achieve

TEENAGER Kate Pike is in the running for a cash prize to reward the exceptional humanitarian work she has performed in Africa.

At just 19-years-old, the Victoria Avenue woman has travelled to South Africa to provide aid no less than five times, an achievement that has led her to be nominated for the Intercounty Young Person of the Year award.

The former Saffron Walden County High School student has spent considerable time in the south-east of the country, working with a poor community stricken with AIDS in the province of KwaZulu-Natal.

Kate said: "I intend to go back to South Africa in July, to spend three years doing voluntary work.

"I will be working on a family literacy project and will hopefully be able to start up some projects of my own for children there.

"If I win the money it will provide me with living costs for my time there: I need money to buy a car, petrol and food.

"I'll be staying with friends and the people involved in the literacy project, but will need to meet all of my own costs apart from accommodation. The £2000 prize would make the stay a lot easier."

Kate, who works with children with special needs in Harlow, first went to South Africa while she was a sixth-former. On a second trip she went with £4000 of aid students had raised.

After leaving school, she and her friend Hayley Willis spent a further six months there.

While in the country, in the city of Pietermaritzburg, Kate and Hayley helped run an orphanage housing 40 children.

Kate said: "I remember arriving at the orphanage for the first time - all of the children were cheering and waiting outside for us. After spending six-and-a-half months there I got to know them and I'm looking forward to going back."

Pierre Horn, who runs the literacy project Kate is working on, said: "Kate is a remarkable young lady. She has the ability to see a need and get on with it. She was sorely missed when she left and we are eagerly awaiting her return with enthusiasm.

"I know that she will be able to improve upon what we already have in place."

The award is open to people aged 10 to 25, who are a positive role model. To qualify the entrant needs to live, work or study in Uttlesford or Braintree districts.

To nominate someone visit www.yopey.org before May 31.

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