A STUDENT from Rickmansworth plans to spend six weeks living in a tent in Haiti during cyclone season.
Lucy Woodbridge, of Nightingale Road, will travel to the city of Jacmel, just outside Port-au-Prince, which was hit by a catastrophic earthquake in January.
She is joining hundreds of volunteers from all over the world taking part in an aid mission to rebuild the country, through the Global Volunteer Network.
The 23-year-old is no stranger to charity work, having spent last summer working in an orphanage in Kenya.
She said: "I think that experience just triggered something inside my brain – I was working with some of the poorest people in the world and yet they were willing to give everything they had, and with a smile on their face. It has pushed me to do more for other people and be grateful for what I have.
"I was originally planning a trip to the Himalayas in India, but I cancelled it to go to Haiti after the earthquake.
"I will be looking after orphaned children and teaching them as all the schools were destroyed and everyone has moved into camps – but most importantly, I will be offering support to people who don't have anything."
Miss Woodbridge, who is in her third year of an arts and event management degree at Bournemouth University, needs to raise £1,500 to fund her trip to Jacmel.
She has so far raised £700 in just six weeks by doing odd jobs for people – including tracking down an old Bob Dylan tape for a teacher.
Miss Woodbridge said: "I didn't want to just ask people for money so I decided to do odd jobs for people, such as baking birthday cakes and cleaning an elderly lady's bathroom – in exchange for a donation.
"I also asked people to donate their old clothes and turned my house into a shop, making £400 in one weekend.
"I have bags and bags left over so I will probably do a car boot sale and I'm going to continue offering my services to people until I leave in three months time.
"I am itching to go although slightly apprehensive about the weather conditions. My mother works with people who are unable to have children, and my father is very entrepreneurial, so I guess I have inherited both their caring side and business minds. My friends all tease me by calling me Mother Teresa!"
Miss Woodbridge is currently applying for a place on the management committee for People and Planet, the largest student network in the UK campaigning to end world poverty, defend human rights and protect the environment.
As for the future, she said: "After my degree I would definitely like a career in fundraising. In particular, I would like to help women and children living in war zones, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, or developing nations.
"Unfortunately, as there is so much going on the world, it is very difficult to pinpoint a specific cause."
For more information, email Lucy at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.globalvolunteernetwork.org .