SOUTHWICK graduate Sami Zeglam is taking to the streets to help tackle poverty in the Philippines.
The 23-year-old runner will take part in the Paris Marathon in April to raise money, then travel to the Philippines a few weeks later to work on a development programme for 12 weeks.
Sami will team up with Filipino volunteers to tackle some of the problems facing the community there, having gained a place on the Government-funded International Citizen Service (ICS).
He explained: “The project I’m working on is run by the development charity Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) and aims to increase awareness within the community to the threats and impacts of flooding, increase involvement of community volunteers in local disaster preparedness and enhancing the capacity of the community to anticipate and cope with the impacts of flooding.
“This is a unique opportunity to work alongside people from a different culture who have requested help from young volunteers to fight poverty and make a difference where it’s needed most. I’m really excited to get out there.”
ICS allows young people aged 18 to 25 to contribute to long-term development projects in countries like Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone and Nepal.
The scheme offers them the chance to develop personally and learn about team working and leadership on projects that are of genuine value to communities around the world.
When they get back home, ICS volunteers complete an Action at Home Project, ensuring their new skills also benefit their own communities.
Sami said has a fundraising target of £800.
“Completing the marathon is a way of making sure developing countries can continue to benefit from the work of future volunteers, so it’s vital I reach my target,” he explained.
“I’ve been training hard, rain or shine and I’m hoping everyone will give generously as a result of my effort.”
Visit www.justgiving.com/SamiZeglam/ or text ZEGL99 to 70070 to sponsor Sami.