Two Stamford sisters are trading in their comfortable lives this winter to volunteer at a Cambodian school in homage to their grandmother.
Sarah-Mae Yardley, 22, and Rachael Yardley, 26, have been saving for a year to fund their three-month trip to Siem Reap, leaving on January 12.
And now, Sarah-Mae’s employer Watson Mitchell Letting Agency has given the sisters an early Christmas present by donating £1,000.
The sisters will be helping independent charity The Feeding Dreams School, which gives free education to more than 800 children whose parents can’t afford to send them to school. Sarah-Mae spent a month volunteering with The Feeding Dreams School last year and was so inspired she wanted to do more.
Poverty is rife in Cambodia, where families struggle to put food on the table, let alone pay the $1 a day it costs to give one child a basic education.
Sarah-Mae, who works as a receptionist at Watson Mitchell, said: “I’ve been working three jobs, often working seven days a week, to put enough money aside to fund my trip.
“We pay for our flights, living costs and make a personal contribution to the charity. We also fund-raise as much as we can for them. They survive purely on donations.”
Sarah-Mae and Rachael have raised £1,585 in addition to their basic trip costs so far, including the donation from Watson Mitchell.
Director of the letting agents Lesley Mitchell said: “Every year we sponsor a charitable cause. This year, there was no contest. Sarah’s passion, dedication and commitment to Feeding Dreams spoke for itself. It’s really important to us that the money we donate makes an actual difference to people’s lives. By supporting Sarah and Rachael’s trip, we know the money will benefit real people and that we’ll get to know a little about the people it helps.”
Sister Rachael, who works in childcare, said: “Every single penny we can raise for them makes a massive difference to their lives. Each one is totally traceable and goes directly into the school. Nothing is wasted. The money makes sure the children get at least one decent meal a day and that the school can remain open.”
The trip will be particularly poignant for the sisters, whose grandmother died last December aged 87. She left her beloved granddaughters some money which they’ve used to help fund their trip.
Rachael said: “Our grandmother would have wanted us to do this. We’re doing it in her honour.”
Anyone who wants to help the sisters can donate at www.justgiving.com/feedingthedreamsofchildren.