Chance to hear about Sophie's Bolivian adventure
12:46pm Monday 4th February 2013 in News
A former supermarket deputy manager from Pembroke Dock, who left her job to help homeless street vending girls in Bolivia, is holding a fundraising evening today (Monday).
Sophie Merrix, aged 25, of Prospect Place, left her job with Lidl after being accepted on a UK Government funded International Citizens Service Programme.
Along with six others, Sophie worked with Mosoj Yan, an organisation set up and run by local Bolivians, and a partner of the development charity, Tearfund.
Sophie was based in Cochabamba, the fourth largest city in Bolivia.
She said: “Despite being obviously poor, struck by poverty and homelessness, people appeared less stressed and happier than lots of us in the UK.
“They have little regard for possessions and great regard for community and family. It’s a relationship based community.
“We went to serve them, but found it was them serving us with their kind welcome,”
Sophie worked in a shelter for homeless girls, where residents are taught life skills and offered counselling, education and Bible studies.
She helped with lessons and played with children, as well as doing some cleaning and gardening, and setting up a project to make Christmas cards, which she brought home to raise funds for Mosoj Yan.
Sophie stayed with a local family, despite not being able to speak any Spanish before she went on the trip.
Sophie added: “It was great to learn about their their culture, what they eat and how they live.
“I highly recommend others join Tearfund on a trip like this one, it can be life changing, and definitely made me re-think the way I live.”
Sophie’s pastor, Rob James, said: “It’s so good to have her back safe and well. I wish more young people would see that, far from being boring, the Christian faith shows us how to experience life to the full.”
Sophie is holding a Bolivia evening from 7pm-9pm tonight at Westgate Evangelical Chapel.