A mum-of-two has joined a TV crew to report back from one of the poorest countries on earth.
Rachell Pirie (39), from Bishopbriggs, was chosen from hundreds of applicants to travel to Sierra Leone, in Western Africa, on behalf of Save the Children and television programme ‘Daybreak’.
She first became involved with the charity via the Families and Schools Together (FAST) project run by Auchinairn Primary – where her twin 10-year-old children go to school.
Her visit to the war-scarred country allowed her to meet some of the mums who are making a real difference to their communities, as well as how money donated in the UK helps save lives.
The first stop was the slums of Susan’s Bay, in the capital Freetown.
Rachell said: “The sights, smells and sounds were unbelievable. The sense of community and friendship that survives there is remarkable and we met a woman who single-handedly runs a Blue Flag medical clinic.”
A visit to a village called Lutto was also an eye-opener for Rachell.
She explained: “There was a woman who was six months pregnant who had a five-mile walk to get to a medical clinic – a walk she’ll have to do when she goes into labour.
“When I had my twins I could hardly get out of the door and into the car when I went into labour.
“It really puts into perspective all the little grumbles we have in this country and how lucky we really are.”
The metal health nurse also got to visit a school to see the importance of education in getting children out of poverty and met a fellow mum who had lost eight out of 10 children through sickness and malnutrition.
She added: “When you see how much the school means to the communities it shows how important it really is. They don’t want charity – they want the means to get themselves out of poverty.”
On her return Rachell reported back to millions of people on the ‘Daybreak’ sofa.
She said: “It was only when I was going on I suddenly realised that I was going to be on live television and Lorraine Kelly and Aled Jones were sitting there making jokes.
“It was really quite surreal and an interesting end to a fascinating and emotional journey.”
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