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LISBURN GIRL SPENDS SIX MONTHS WORKING IN SAO PAULO ORPHANAGE

Journey to Brazil is a dream come true for Beth

Beth Anderson Former Wallace High School pupil who has recently returned from working in an orphanage in Brazil.

NINETEEN-year-old Lisburn girl Beth Anderson has just returned from a six month working in an orphanage in one of the world's largest cities - Sao Paulo in Brazil.

The former Wallace High School student, who received the Gillespie Gap Year Bursary from the school, travelled with the Oasis Trust, a Christian Mission Charity.

She was based at an orphanage where she taught English, Music and Drama to children and adults.

And it fulfilled a dream of Beth's to visit Brazil.

"I first decided I wanted to work in Sao Paulo when I was 14," she said. "I carried out quite a bit of research and was delighted when Oasis Trust was able to offer me this opportunity."

Beth raised £4,000 through fundraising activities and support from Lisburn Rotary Club. Time away from family and friends was challenging yet exciting for Beth.

Beth working in the Brazilian orphanage"Christmas Day without my family was very difficult but thankfully all my friends and family emailed me which made me less homesick.

"Taking a break from studying was refreshing and it was amazing experiencing another culture. I was lucky enough to live with a Brazilian family and thoroughly enjoyed my time with them.

"Probably the most shocking thing for me was seeing the huge disparity of wealth in the country. I worked in Favelas, a shanty town area, but got the chance tů. visit designer shopping malls where money was no object for some.

"It was quite upsetting to see people living in the shanty towns without electricity or running water, yet only a few miles away see extravagant consumerism."

Beth, who will be heading to Newcastle University in September, would like to return to Brazil one day.

Ulster Star
11/05/2007