A Market Deeping woman and her partner have just set off on an around the world charity trek to raise 180 smiles in 180 days.
Jaymie Duke and her partner Alvaro will spend six months travelling to China, India, Laos, Cambodia, Peru, Colombia and Bolivia, helping local charities, community groups and families along the way.
Until a week ago, Jaymie worked for a charity and Alvaro, who is from Madrid in Spain, worked in digital marketing.
But unlike typical ‘gap year trips’, they wanted to positively impact the communities they planned to visit and, after much discussion, created the 180 days, 180 smiles concept to raise a smile for every day they are away.
Jaymie (29) said: “We decided to give to good causes on our trip because we know how lucky we are to be born in rich countries and lovely families.
“We already knew we’d be visiting some of the poorest countries in the world and didn’t just want to ‘take’ from them.
”We’ve also just taken six months off work to do nothing, so we are clearly very privileged!”
During the trip, they plan to collaborate with local charities, community groups and families we come across on our journey.
Jaymie said: “We will also support well-known, sustainable , non-governmental organisations – one of these being Smile Train, an international children’s charity with a sustainable approach to cleft lip and palate conditions.
“The charity provides training and funding to empower local doctors in more than 85 developing countries to provide 100 per cent free cleft repair surgery in their communities.”
So far Jaymie and Alvaro have raised £1,400 which will be split between two NGOs – Smile Train and Help Them Hope – where Jaymie used to volunteer.
The final third will be spent on the grassroots projects Jaymie and Alvaro decide upon en route.
To make a donation, visit http://180smiles.org