Bradford grandmother's mercy mission to Africa

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Razia Amini (white top and dark headdress) helps children cook during her charity trip to the Gambia Razia Amini (white top and dark headdress) helps children cook during her charity trip to the Gambia

A KIND-HEARTED grandmother has handed out a shipment including 100 bicycles to children in the Gambia in her latest charity venture.

Razia Amini filled a 20ft crate full of goods including the bikes, eight sewing machines, stationery and an array of computers, scanners and printers which she had bought herself off eBay or had donated.

She joined the cargo of goods the day after they arrived for her seven-day trip, giving them out to a variety of Gambian schoolchildren.

The 54-year-old, of Heaton, Bradford, made the trip with three other women from national aid charity Humanity First, which she has been supporting for 13 years.

The money has come from fundraising across the region that Mrs Amini covers for the charity, including Bradford.

It was Mrs Amini's latest African Adventure as she was last in Gambia's remote Gambiaff region 12 months ago, where she handed out school equipment including 200 desks, chairs, books and laptops.

She is already planning her next charity trip for next year, which will see her go to Burkina Faso.

She also has close links with the Heart Foundation, the Curry Project in Otley Road and supporting the homeless.

Mrs Amini said: "These trips are very, very beneficial to them.

"They did say whatever we left behind was very useful to them. We did what we could.

"During this trip, we helped 18 different schools from the complete north of the country in Mansakonko to the furthest south, including Ndungu Charren Basic School, Mbullum Upper Basic School, Jarumeh Koto Basic School, Sareh Louba Lower Basic School and Wellingara Ba Lower Basic School, the children at these schools ranged from ages four to 18.

"Sometimes I found a bargain and cheap stuff here really is valuable there to put in my collection.

"It takes a whole year to plan one of these trips.

"I also went and bought 800 pairs of shoes from a Gambian wholesale market which they appreciated

"We did a similar trip last year where our main focus was to provide educational facilities to areas in the Gambia.

"This year's efforts were concentrated on providing bicycles to the villages since most children would walk up to seven miles in the heat just to attend a school on a daily basis. The bikes will be school property.

"I'm planning my next trip already. I have heard that Burkina Faso is much more needier."

Mrs Amini is looking to collect more bicycles, gardening equipment, to help villages grow and maintain their own crops efficiently, and more school equipment for next year's trip to Burkina Faso.To make a donation, call Mrs Razia on 07889 524557 or e-mail razia.amini@hotmail.co.uk.

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