Pair winging way to Malawi

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Ben Dalloway and Hannah Payne are preparing for the trip of a lifetime. The Mountainview High School pupils will leave for the southeast African country of Malawi on Wednesday as part of a group travelling with the Shine Relief Trust. The pair will deliver stationery to school pupils in the country, as well as other items they have collected in preparation for the trip. The Shine Relief Trust, whose New Zealand base is in Timaru, works with vulnerable communities in Malawi providing resources and support. Basic essentials such as shelter, clothing, bed nets, blankets, medical support and school fees are provided through the trust to those identified by local authorities. Ben said he had heard about the trust through his mother Dawn. ‘‘Mum had always been planning on going,’’ he said. ‘‘I was talking to Timaru woman Lynley Marett, who is one of the trust’s New Zealand trustees, and it sounded like the trip of a lifetime. ‘‘Then Hannah came on board and we’ve [been] preparing since then.’’ Hannah said the trip would be ‘‘an eye-opener’’. ‘‘We take so much for granted here,’’ she said. Travelling with Mrs Marett and Mrs Dalloway, the group will visit schools in Nsondole and provide them with stationery. The will also deliver uniforms, mosquito nets, food items, baby clothes and toys. Hospitals will also be on the visiting list for the group. Ben and Hannah have raised money through a mufti day at their school, which raised $460, and held a sausage sizzle and car wash. Money and items have also been donated by Timaru organisations and businesses, the pair said. The group will stay in Malawi for 23 days. ‘‘We’ve never done anything like this before,’’ Ben said. Hannah said the dress code for women was ‘‘very different’’ to New Zealand. ‘‘They wear long skirts and cover up.’’ – Anyone wanting to help the trust is asked to visit www.shinerelief.org.nz