FORMER Berwickshire High School pupil Jade Hebdon is raising funds to enable her to help some of the world’s most deprived children.
Jade, in the second year of a degree in Primary Education at Edinburgh University, will be taking part in a sponsored Christmas Day swim to fund her extra classroom time in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar, teaching some of the country’s most deprived children.
The chance came as part of Project Mongolia, which places volunteers in an education camp for six weeks, and also hosts Mongolian children when they visit Britain.
Jade, 20, is looking forward to a different kind of teaching experience, as well as the thrill of interacting with such a vibrant foreign culture.
“It will be a challenge,” she said, “because the abilities of the class will vary so much. With my degree, I can teach pupils up to the age of 11. In the first year English class at the camp, I could be teaching kids aged from five all the way up to 17, all together.
“And while I’m over there next summer, the Mongols hold a week-long national holiday, called the Naadam festival. Everywhere closes, and people enjoy their three national sports: wrestling, horse racing and archery.”
Jade got into teaching after enjoying volunteering in various positions around the Borders.
She was part of the Rainbows in Kelso as a girl, and as she grew up took to volunteering with Riding for the Disabled.
“I think Mongolia is a part of the world that’s not as well known, compared to schemes in places like Tanzania or Kenya.”
Jade and her eight fellow traveller are aiming to raise £10,000 to fund their six-week stay, and she is getting into the flow of things straight away with a sponsored swim off Goswick Sands on Christmas Day.
“I thought I needed something to grab people’s attention,” said Jade, “and the ‘Loony Dook’ seemed perfect. I don’t think most people want to be in the North Sea on Christmas morning!”
To donate, visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/team/CampProject2013