A TALENTED student is to swap her home in Fence for three months working with street children in Tanzania.

Sophie Greenwood, 22, flies out to Africa next week hoping that 15 years spent as a member of the Pendle Hippodrome Theatre will stand her in good stead as she helps the children learn music, dance and theatre.

The former Mansfield High and Clitheroe Grammar Sixth Form student said: “I can’t wait to get there.

It’s been a long-standing ambition of mine to volunteer overseas. This is a great opportunity.

“It’s a Government scheme and I went through a tough selection day in Manchester to get there.”

Sophie, who attended university in Reading until last year, will be working at the Tanzania House of Talent in the country’s capital, Dar es Salaam.

Founded in 2006, it supports talented youth regardless of their social, economic or educational background and has developed a number of vocalists and musicians who are now household names in Tanzania.

It also gives education to the children on health issues and the fight against malaria.

Sophie added: “Recent productions I’ve been in are The Sound of Music and The Producers so it will be interesting to see how the different cultures combine.”

Sophie, who will be part of a Skillshare International group,was helped by Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson who advised her which Government department to write to.

After the trip, Sophie, of Hoarstone Avenue, hopes to land a job in London in the charity sector.

A quick take on Tanzania

  • Tanzania is probably one of the oldest-known inhabited areas on Earth; fossil remains of humans have been found dating back around two million years.
  • It is a state composed of 26 regions including those of the autonomous region of Zanzibar.
  • It was colonially controlled by Germany until the end of WWI when the British took over until independence in 1961.
  • Agriculture employs approximately 80 per cent of the workforce.
  • Tanzania has dozens of beautiful national parks, like the famous Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, which generate tourism vital to the economy.