We should all try to extend the hand of friendship

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The three Fareham College students who gave up their time to help schoolchildren in Kenya really do deserve a pat on the back.

Bonnie Williams, Jessica Seal and Hannah Simpson are an example to us all.

Raising a considerable amount of money themselves to fund their trip, these caring teenagers were determined to lend a hand in one of the poorest parts of the world.

Anyone who finds it hard to think of a good thing to say about young people needs to read today’s story and understand that there are great kids, doing good things for others.

The time they spent in Africa undoubtedly did a lot of good and it’s clear Bonnie, Jessica, and Hannah got a lot out of their time in Kenya too.

They were surprised by the level of poverty they came across and the conditions people live in and that’s something many of us could do with thinking about from time to time too.

While the economic downturn has left many in this country with money worries, the problems some Kenyan families face are truly unimaginable.

These students saw 15 people living in one shed and individuals battling through malaria and Aids.

While the debate on how much foreign aid the UK sends abroad is always worth having, it’s perhaps examples like these that bring it home to us why foreign aid is vital.

The UK has a duty to reach out to those around us who are in trouble. It’s a role we’ve always performed and long may that continue because it demonstrates to the world and to ourselves what kind of society we are.

While the government must always strive to ensure that the money sent abroad goes to the right people – to fund the right projects – no-one can be any doubt about why foreign aid is needed.

We’re sure the experiences of this trip will live on long in the memories of these three girls.

They extended the hand of friendship with care and tenderness.

While it’s not possible for all of us to travel to Kenya, it’s worth asking yourself when was the last time you did something kind for someone else?