Burnley student’s Aids mercy mission to Zambia

HELPING HAND: Nadiya Butt in Zambia (S)
HELPING HAND: Nadiya Butt in Zambia (S)

A BURNLEY student has spent a month helping to deliver vital medical care to poor and sick people in Africa.

Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s Award participant and former Thomas Whitham Sixth Form student Nadiya Butt joined the Hands on Medical Care project in Zambia.

After receiving basic medical training, Nadiya worked on health schemes in the poorest areas of the country working in clinics for babies, adults and the elderly.

She also helped to run a HIV awareness project in a prison, which gave prisoners a qualification that they could use on their release to raise awareness of the disease which is rife in Zambia.

Nadiya also worked on community projects including teaching children to read, helping in schools, and on the local farm.

She did the D of E award with Burnley Football Club and is now studying pharmacy at the University of Manchester.

She said: “The experience was a real eye-opener and taught me how important it is to help others who are less fortunate in any way we can, whether it is doing something small or big.  

“It gave me a huge boost in confidence and helped me to cross language barriers and communicate with others who are of a completely different background to me.  

“I learned a lot about HIV/AIDS and the importance of educating the public so that the knowledge they have been taught can keep them healthy.

“Aside from all the medical knowledge I picked up I also learned different life skills such as knowing how to live with other volunteers. I even did white water rafting across the Zambezi river.”

Headteacher at Thomas Whitham Sixth Form Stuart Smith said: “Nadiya grasped this opportunity with both hands and her experience in Zambia as part of this was a life-changing experience. It will be of major benefit to her as she moves from university to the world of work in the future.”

D of E manager for Burnley FC Matt Hargreaves said “It’s fantastic to see a young lady from our home town helping others on another continent in such a meaningful way. The experience will no doubt have given Nadiya memories that will stay with her forever, but also will have helped her develop skills for the future.”

To find out more about the Duke of Edinburgh’s scheme at Thomas Whitham call 01282 682272.

If you would like to know more about the scheme at Burnley FC, call Matt Hargreaves on 01282 700001 or email m.hargreaves@burnleyfc.com.