A group of 10 aboriginal youth from the Labrador communities of Nain and Hopedale are headed to Africa for a month-long volunteer experience they’re sure to remember.
The young people left Nain Thursday to spend a night in Happy Valley-Goose Bay before flying to Quebec for two weeks of training, then it's off to Tanzania to work with children as part of a Canada World Youth project.
Mary Andersen said the opportunity is something she couldn’t have imagined.
“You take the chance when it comes because you never know, it may never come again. Like, where does someone like me from all the way in Labrador get to travel all across the world to Africa? That's amazing,” said Andersen.
A whole new world
Bertha Saimat, who's also headed to Africa, said she’s never left the province before and isn’t sure what to expect when she lands on a different continent.
“I Googled it [Africa] and I watched some videos and my God, some of them are freaky, and some of them are cool and breathtaking,” she said.
“I can't wait to go. Can't wait to go on new adventures and explore the world. They say this trip will change your life forever. I still don't know what they mean by that, but I can't wait to find out.”
Lisa Dennis, an occupational therapist with the Nunatsiavut government, said the idea for organizing the trip came from a board assignment two years ago.
“One of [the students] on her collage … she put on hers, among other things, she put her dream was to go to Africa,” she said.
“So I go, 'you want to go to Africa!?' I was like, I thought that was pretty cool, you know? And that she even allowed herself to dream it, to even verbalize it is another thing.”
The students will take off from the Happy Valley-Goose Bay airport Friday morning for the month-long excursion.