Volunteer Stefan ready to run for Raleigh International

Stefan Zak, 18, will travel to Nicaragua in September with organisation Raleigh International
Stefan Zak, 18, will travel to Nicaragua in September with organisation Raleigh International
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A young volunteer is to pull on his running shoes to help one of the world’s poorest communities.

Stefan Zak, from Bretherton, is running the RunPreston10k to support a project that tackles poverty in Nicaragua, South America, where he will be volunteering for 12 weeks.

The 18-year-old, who has just completed his A-levels at Runshaw College, will travel to Nicaragua in September with organisation Raleigh International as part of the UK Government funded International Citizen Service (ICS) programme.

Stefan, who studied Spanish, said he was looking for a charitable project during his planned gap year. He is hoping to take up a place at Durham University studying liberal arts next year.

The former Bishop Rawstorne CE Academy pupil said: “Nicaragua appealed to me because I will be able to practice speaking Spanish with the locals there.

“I am passionate about the impact of environmental change upon sustainability, and given that Nicaragua is one of the countries that is most effected by climate change, I am interested in seeing how this impacts daily life.

“I hope to improve not just the short-term welfare of local Nicaraguans through my water sustainability project, but also to have a longer term impact through education about practices.

“Additionally, I hope to be able to share some of my experiences when I return and so am organising speeches to disseminate my experiences to the wider public.”

Ahead of the trip Stefan must raise £1500 for Raleigh International. He will be running the RunPreston 10k on September 24, and will be aiming to finish amongst the top five runners.

He added: “I am a very keen runner and have been training for about three years. Recently, I ran the Manchester 10k to raise money for a charity in Kenya, Gathimba Edwards who I will be volunteering with before I go to Nicaragua.

“The money raised from my fundraising will help to make sure that the communities in developing countries continue to benefit from the work of future volunteers, so it’s vital I reach my target. I’ve been training incredibly hard to compete in this race, and hope that the hundreds of hours preparing for this race will result in a top place finish.”

To sponsor Stefan visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/stefanzak2017 or text YKNJ50 to to 70070 find out more about ICS or to apply, visit www.volunteerics.org.