Life below the poverty line for Middle Rasen volunteer

Matt Foster EMN-160815-083606001
Matt Foster EMN-160815-083606001

A Market Rasen man is travelling to Africa next month as part of a UK government funded project to help tackle poverty.

Matthew Foster, 24, will spend seven months in Liberia, where he has been selected to head a team of 10 UK and Liberian volunteers aged between 18 and 22.

The group will be working on post-Ebola recovery projects run by international development organisation Y Care International as part of the International Citizen Service (ICS) programme.

“I’m really looking forward to getting to Liberia and getting stuck in to my project,” said Matthew.

“We will be living within a rural community; facilities and food will be basic and the work will be tough.

“I’ve volunteered overseas before, but ICS offers a unique opportunity to make a real difference on a long-term development project, so I’m really excited to be involved.”

Matthew previously spent 10 months volunteering in Sudan teaching English, to gain some international experience and life skills after finishing his Masters degree from King’s College London in 2013.

And the skills learnt on this latest volunteering stint will be put to use back home.

“On return to the UK,I will be looking to take on an ‘Action at Home’ project, ensuring my new skills also benefit the local community,” said Matthew.

Meanwhile, Matthew is raising money to support the work of ICS and has set himself a target of £800.

“ I will be doing a few fundraising events, including a charity football game, as well as my own ‘Live Below The Line’ challenge,” said Matthew.

“With 94 percent of the working poor in Liberia living on US$2 a day or less, the challenge involves experiencing this.

“So in early September, I will be living off £1 a day for five days.”

Anyone who would like to sponsor Matthew can do so by logging on to his donation page at www.justgiving.com/Matthew-Foster8

“The money raised will go towards enabling the overall costs of ICS, ensuring they can continue sending youth volunteers to the developing world to make a lasting difference in disadvantaged communities,” added Matthew.