Banbury woman’s black tie ball for Africa’s children

Kirstie Darnell (front, centre) and other volunteers for the Purple Aid project NNL-170428-103718001
Kirstie Darnell (front, centre) and other volunteers for the Purple Aid project NNL-170428-103718001
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A Banbury woman is raising money to enable her to travel to Africa and help build a crèche for vulnerable children who have no safe place to go.

A Banbury woman is raising money to enable her to travel to Africa and help build a crèche for vulnerable children who have no safe place to go.

Kirstie Darnell has a target of £3,000 to raise in order for her to participate in the Purple Aid Agents of Change project that intends to build both a crèche and a drop in centre in the Tsusalushaka region of South Africa.

The project will provide vulnerable children a safe haven in the hours between them leaving school for the day and their parents returning home from work.

Kirstie said: “In that part of South Africa, 57 per cent of children under the age of 18 have experienced some form of violence - mostly sexual - in the last 12 months.

“In that area, parents work all day, but the children only attend nursery and pre-school until lunchtime, leaving them wandering the streets and vulnerable to horrific abuse in the afternoons.

She added: “Incredibly, this abuse usually comes from someone they know. The crèche and drop-in centre we are helping to build will provide somewhere safe for the children to go until their parents can collect them.

“They also get fed, and for some of them it’s the only hot meal they get each day.”

The project will be co-ordinated by international charity World Vision, which has already built 42 schools, 24 crèches and 24 drop-in centres in the Tsusalushaka province with the help of local people and overseas volunteers.

Kirstie said: “There are 15 of us going from the UK, and it will be a real test for us.

“First, we have to raise the money to build the buildings ahead of our arrival and then we will actually work on the crèche and drop-in centres in what will be very difficult conditions because of the heat and limited resources available.”

To raise the funds Kirstie will host a black tie ball on May 27 at the Old Shire Hall in Warwick, at 7.30pm. Guests will receive a three-course meal, live entertainment from a Michael Buble tribute act, motivational speaker and an auction of donated prizes.

To book your place call 07967 399449, email: kirstie@knrjewellery.co.uk or visit www.thepurpleaidball.co.uk