From delivering Jersey Royals for a friend's dinner to creating super-size sand art... A local teen has been completing challenges throughout lockdown so he can raise enough money to visit Africa and help build a school.
Initially, Victoria College student Louis van der Niet (15) had taken a part-time job to fund his place as the youngest boy selected for the World Challenge Africa Trip.
“We’re going on a trip to South Africa and the countries around there in June 2021. We’re doing stuff to help the community – so we’re helping build a school in Eswatini, we’re going to Mozambique to do Marine Conservation, and going hiking Lesotho," Louis explained.
In order to fund the trip, his mum, Christine, said Louis “working every hour possible through the holidays to start to raise the £4,500 needed.”
However, when lockdown hit, Louis was faced with a dilemma.
Concerned he wouldn't be able to raise money for the trip, a family friend came up with an idea for people to set Louis challenges to earn money during lockdown.
These challenges have ranged from car washing to walking trips, helping set up the Company of Dogs charity shop, finding mystery buildings set by friends, and even cycling Jersey Royals from L'Étacq to Victoria Village for a friend’s dinner.
One unusual challenge in particular that sticks out in Louis’ mind as “pretty great” was his recent massive drawing in in the St. Open sand of Africa, which he completed with the help of 'Jersey Sandman’, Andy Coutanche. It raised £410.
Pictured: Louis and his artwork.
Christine has said that since Louis started his challenges, she’s had private messages from many islanders wanting to help out and set their own tasks for him, with one person getting him to do the bunting and decorations for their garden party and another giving him some antiques to auction.
She praised Jersey’s “wonderful community” for their response, saying that she thinks, with so many unpleasant stories going on, it’s heartening for people to “see something good happening.”
With Louis now a quarter of the way to his target, he is powering on, whether it be helping out in an office, continuing his lengthy cycles or welcoming any more challenges set for him.
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