Craig can’t wait to return to Mombasa

Craig Noble and his class of pupils at the Precious Vision Care Centre, in Shari Yako
Craig Noble and his class of pupils at the Precious Vision Care Centre, in Shari Yako

A local lad who has recently returned from a second volunteer expedition to Mombasa, , East Africa, is launching a fundraising drive as he can not wait to return even though there is a possibility he may have contracted Malaria during his stay.

Craig Noble (18), of Charlotte Street Fraserburgh, became ill during his final week of a six-week long voluntary teaching assignment.

The children of Precious Vision Care Centre enjoying their bananas for breakfast

The children of Precious Vision Care Centre enjoying their bananas for breakfast

Speaking to the Herald, he said: “I started to feel unwell on the Tuesday of my last week and by the Thursday I was really ill and attended hospital.

“I was due to fly home on Saturday May 28 but was too ill to fly at that time. I had a fever and although I felt hot to touch I was freezing. My temperature was over 40 degrees. The headaches, stomach cramps and muscle pains were excruciating and I was covered in a raised rash.

“I was taken to the hospital on Thursday May 26 where after running tests the doctors diagnosed that I was suffering from malaria even though the actual malaria test came back negative. They believed this was due to the fact that I had taken anti-malaria medication before going over, giving a false negative test result.

“I was treated for malaria and advised that I should be admitted to hospital however as one of the other volunteers was a nurse they agreed to discharge me on the condition that she cared for me and administered the medication prescribed.

Craig and some of the pupils in the playground of the Precious Vision Care Centre

Craig and some of the pupils in the playground of the Precious Vision Care Centre

“I was finally well enough to fly home on June 2,” he said.

Funding the six-week expedition himself, Craig has now started to plan his third trip to the Precious Vision Care Centre, in Shari Yako, the second largest slum in Mombasa and has launched a fundraising drive to help enable him to do so.

He continued: “My first trip last August with my mum and dad (Catherine and Gavin) was only three weeks. I loved working in the school and with the children so decided to get saving and go back as soon as possible but for longer, taking as much overtime as possible to save almost £2,000 to enable me to go.

“I hope to go back again this year at the end of July or the beginning of August to continue working with the children.

“To fund this trip I will be holding fundraising events in the near future and have also created a video presentation that shows the conditions these children live in and why it is so crucial to help, hopefully I will also be able to obtain some form of sponsorship.

“When I went over with my parents, the children were so malnourished they were unable to concentrate in school, they were starving.

“As a family we sponsored them to ensure that they get breakfast every morning, one day it is a simple banana and the next it is porridge.

“What a difference this has made, as soon as they have eaten, they are raring to go and start learning, it’s amazing how something so small can make such a difference to their lives.”

Commenting on their son’s latest voluntary expedition and fundraising drive, Craig’s parents said: “We were obviously very worried about Craig, and couldn’t wait to get him home, but we are very proud of what he is doing and what he wants to continue to do.”

Craig’s volunteer teaching assignments have been organised through Global Vision International, 70% of the fee paid by volunteers goes towards resources for the centre and 30% towards upkeep of the volunteer house.

To find out more about Craig’s trip or to make a donation or discuss sponsorship contact Craig via email to craig.noble5935@yahoo.co.uk.