Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland



Rotary bursary helps Mark on his way to Mexico

Mark Robinson. US24-730SP

Mark Robinson.

LOCAL student, Mark Robinson, has been given a financial boost by the Rotary Club of Lisburn, which will allow him to travel to South America for a year to work with street children.

Mark was granted a �500 bursary by the local club, which will go someway towards the �6,000 he must raise for the trip.

The former Wallace student is currently studying Spanish at Queens University and is spending his third year in Mexico City with the charity Latin Link, working in a children's home with street kids.

Mark first found out about the Rotary bursary when his brother and friends from First Lisburn Presbyterian Church applied for the grant last year when they were planning to travel to Philadelphia with Habitat for Humanity.

After making it through the initial interview stage, Mark was granted the bursary and gave a presentation to the Rotarians last week.

Talking about his upcoming visit to Mexico, Mark said: "I am going to Mexico City to work with street kids. I will be teaching English and using football to break down social and language barriers.

"I decided to use the opportunity presented by my language placement year to work with the chary," explained Mark. "Last year I spent two months with Latin Link in Ecuador on their Step Programme and I am hoping that at the end of my time in Mexico I can go back to Ecuador to visit the project again."

Mark now has the task of reaching his �6,000 fundraising goal and has a host of events already planned.

"I have made a start on the fundraising and the Rotary bursary will really help," he said.

"Next week I am planning to run the Lisburn Half Marathon in a poncho to raise money and I am also planning to have a variety of events during the summer," Mark added.

Mark has mixed emotions about the trip to Mexico. "I cannot wait to go," he said. "It is a bit daunting to be honest as there is a chance I will be living with a family for a year. It will be an unbelievable experience."

Trevor Guy from the Rotary Club of Lisburn commented: "The standard of applications for this year's bursary was exceptionally high. However, Mark was a very worthy winner."

Ulster Star