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Jake gets ready for another trip to Africa with charity

By Sue Austin | Wem | News | Published:

Jake Evans is preparing to make his sixth visit to Africa as part of his work for the charity Small Steps Forward.

Jake Evans, right, with his dad Martin

The 26-year-old, from Wem, began his interest in the charity, which helps children in Kenya, as a student at the Thomas Adams school.

He now splits his time between his career as a professional storyteller and volunteering for the charity.

Jake said: "I was lucky enough to go to Kenya when I was 17, when my biology teacher, Dave Queen set up the charity. He moved away from Shropshire but continued the project and I continued to be involved.

"It helps students from destitute backgrounds into education and has had some wonderful results.

"Two of the students the charity helps have gone onto one of Kenya's top universities in Nairobi, four or five have become teachers and others have set up their own business. It really makes a difference to people's lives. We fundraise and also encourage people to sponsor individuals. It is only £90 to sponsor a student for a year."

Jake's storytelling skills came into their own on his late visit when he entertained the students with some of his stories and said their reaction had been wonderful.

But he says the real life stories the young people have to tell have opened his eyes to their struggle.

"One young man who I have got to know over the years opened up to me on my last visit. He told me that he was orphaned when he was about seven years old and for two years he lived in the bush - a bit like Mowgli. He picked fruit off the trees to survive and slept under the stars under a teacher at a school we help took him under his wing."

The Small Steps Forward charity is organising a fundraiser on February 28. A music gig will be held at the Hive in Shrewsbury. Tickets cost £6 and are available from the charity's Facebook page.

Sue Austin

By Sue Austin
Chief Reporter

Chief reporter of the Oswestry/Mid Wales office. Keen to hear your news.

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