by JENNY MONROE
A MAZE man is set to cycle from Belfast to Galway to raise funds for a volunteering trip to the Central Asian republic of Tajikistan. Next month Andrew Graham will fly out to work for Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) working for the government's International Citizen Service.
He will spend three months with a team of other young volunteers from the UK, each with a local Tajik counterpart, to help promote secure livelihoods, especially for women and young people.
But first Andrew has his fundraising cycle on July 14, when he will cover approximately 180 miles.
Andrew commented; "I recently graduated from Queens University studying an MA in International Politics. In my degree I focused on international development, which got me interested in working to help poor countries and to understand why poverty still persists.
"One of the biggest problems in Tajikistan is that in order to earn enough to support their families, most men have to find work in China, Russia or Kazakhstan, and send money home. This is bad both for their county economy and for their society. Absent fathers cause huge problems for society so the more we can responsibly promote home-grown economic development, the better life will become for Talks."
Andrew continued: "Whilst there I will be working with a team of other young people and a group of experienced professionals to help promote economic development.
"Our work Will concentrate on promoting secure livelihoods for young people and vulnerable women in particular. To help our project along, I am cycling from Belfast to Galway in one day, hoping to raise £800 as a minimum."
For all of the three months, Andrew will be living with a local family in the country's capital Dushanbe.
If you would like to support Andrew please visit https://www.justgiving.com/AndrewGraham5