Teaching village for the future

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A local woman is putting her best foot forward to raise funds so she can go on a mission trip to help a poverty stricken community in Cambodia.

Katherine Holmgren, born and raised in Whitby, is in the process of raising over £1500 so she can return to finish off projects she had been involved with during previous visits.

On Tuesday she will walk the 23 miles from Whitby to Scarborough along the Cinder Track at rate of four miles each hour and the following week she will cycle the route - taking collections tins with her on both journeys.

Katherine is also doing sponsored swims at Whitby and Scarborough leisure centres to make up the £600 she still needs to cover the costs of the trip which include airfares, accommodation, insurance and building materials.

It forms part of her training regime of a sponsored triathlon to raise the other cash needed.

On her next visit to the country, which borders Vietnam,Katherine will be helping to convert a derelict building into a childcare facility and community centre.

It will allow locals to gain more skills so they can aspire to earn more than the 20p an hour they currently get at a nearby factory.

On previous visits in March and April of last year, Katherine was part of a group of volunteers from the company, Mission Direct, who built classrooms in the slum village of Phnom Penh.

She said: “Most of the kids we met didn’t even have shoes or socks and would share one room with their parents, siblings, a few chickens and possibly a pig.

“Effluence runs through the worst slums though Mission Direct has re-housed most people who lived in these villages.”