Yvonne Mestrum I've signed up to the Gorilla Trek with the charity, East African Playgrounds to raise £2,000 to help bring the gift of play to the children of Uganda.

I will be trekking through part of Uganda to find the last remaining Silverback Mountain Gorillas (with my daughter!) as well as living and working within a local community to build a playground for a school. As excited as I am to see the Gorillas and thereby contribute to the teams of Rangers who so valiantly try to defend/protect them from poachers, in equal measure I feel privileged to be able to spend considerable time within a rural community, getting to know the people and their culture and building something of real use/value for their children.

A playground is a classroom in disguise, children don't know they are learning, they don't feel like they are learning, but really they are taking in the whole world whilst playing with their friends. the right to play is on the UN's Convention of the Rights of a Child. It allows them to practice social skills, cognitive and fine motor skills, creativity, communication, problem solving, team working, amongst other skills.

I want to give this gift to the children of Uganda, can you please help by donating towards my fundraising. Any amount will be gratefully received and hugely appreciated. This is the type of once in a lifetime trip, that Alice and I have discussed many time in the last five years, but which looked unlikely until now and here we are, registered and GOING! I have long wanted to take part in volunteer work abroad. I have an affinity with Africa, which I can't explain - I'm an Army BRAT, I was born in Africa, I remember nothing, but have always wanted to return. Like Alice, I was always concerned about the real effects of these trips, and where exactly the money goes. East African Playgrounds are the real deal. Alongside giving children the best start in life, they employ locals at every stage of our trip/work, they run an apprenticeship scheme to give disadvantaged young adults better job opportunities.

I would like to thank each of my sponsors personally, as an an extra thank you:
£10 donation and I will send you a postcard from Uganda
£20 donation and I will have your name printed on the back of my trip t-shirt (I'm hoping they don't all fit! but I will have more than one t-shirt)

(I am also fundraising for my flights, so any money that I raise over £2000 can be reimbursed to me by East African Playgrounds, upon request, up to the cost of my flight)

Thank you sooooo much for taking the time to read this/visit my page. If you are unable to donate, please share, as that will also be a valuable help at this time.

Yvonne :) Yvonne Mestrum