Student, 19, to spend gap year in Nigeria helping some of the world’s poorest people

STUDENT James Fox has taken a break from studies to spend three months in Nigeria helping some of the poorest people in the world.

The 19-year-old, from Wisbech, made the 3,000-mile journey to the African nation on Tuesday to spend three months with a family in Kwara state.

While there he will also support Voluntary Services Overseas to help educate youngsters, warn about the dangers of HIV and Aids and promote the welfare of women.

James has just completed a two-year health and social care course with the College of West Anglia in King’s Lynn.

He said: “I am nervous. I haven’t even been abroad before.”

Fellow students and staff were among those who helped him raise more than �900 towards the trip, including a 109-mile bike ride to Norwich and back and a cake stall at the former Alderman Jackson School centre in King’s Lynn where he completed his course when it was switched from Wisbech.

The state where he will be living in Nigeria has a population of some 126,000 people, living on below the equivalent of 40p a day.

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James will undertake a work placement while there but will not find out what this includes until he lands with a group of other students.

Once he returns to the UK, he will be involved in passing on his experiences through an Action At Home programme and hopes to talk about this to students at the college.

James began his studies with a year spent at the Wisbech campus, before transferring to King’s Lynn. He anticipates earning top grades in his subject and is looking to go to university in September 2013.

James said he did not know what he wanted to study at university, so was keen to do something worthwhile to help others during a gap year.