A teenage apprentice will be helping to rebuild communities devastated by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines next year.
Luke Naish, an apprentice carpenter at Merlin Housing Society has been chosen as one of 12 students from South Gloucestershire and Stroud (SGS) College to take part in the project. The group will be heading off next summer to help improve the lives of people living at the Smokey Mountain former garbage dumpsite in Manila.
The students will be working with the British-based Philippine Community Fund for two weeks helping out on a variety of projects to help some of the world’s poorest people.
“I applied to take part in the project because I wanted to do something to help after the typhoon,” said seventeen-year-old Luke.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit another part of the world and to help people. I also think it’s good to understand other cultures and how people live in other parts of the world. I’ll be able to come back and talk about my experiences and maybe encourage other people to help as well.
“I was so excited when they told me I’d been selected and everyone at Merlin has been really happy for me as well. I’ve really enjoyed my apprenticeship so far; I’m working with a good group of people, making a difference to people’s lives.”
Luke started his apprenticeship with Merlin in September and is a member of the windows and doors team. He spends three days a week installing new windows in residents’ homes and the other two days a week at SGS College in Filton. Over the next six months he has to raise £1,000 to take part in the project.
“I’ve done fundraising for different things in the past and have got some ideas about how to raise the money, including fancy dress events, a swimathon and maybe even get all of us to do a skydive,” Luke added. “Merlin has also offered to help as well so I’m confident I’ll be able to raise the money for the project.”
This will be the third year that the college has teamed up with the Philippine Community Fund to take a group of volunteer students to the Philippines.