Most teenagers may finish their A-level exams and choose to get a job to save up some much-needed cash or maybe go ‘back-packing’, but one Ruskington 18-year-old has opted to challenge himself to join a Christian mission in deprived areas of India.
Cameron Macadam has just finished his A levels at Carres Grammar School and attends All Saints’ Church in Ruskington, where he is a member of the Parochial Church Council.
He is having a gap year before hopefully going to Nottingham University to study Theology. Before then, Cameron plans to to Calcutta to take part in a Christian Mission Programme, working there for six months helping with long-term projects such as supporting Fair Trade charities, as well as developing new ways of helping local people.
His most important project will be supporting street children who have no access to any form of education. These children are collected daily in a yellow bus which travels through the slum areas.
Cameron said: “I got the idea from a visit to my church by the Bishop of Grimsby. I have always wanted to go to India and signed up.”
He was looking forward to working with the children but a bit wary of the spicy diet, saying: “It is difficult to prepare for the poverty. The size of the city will be a culture shock too, but really interesting. Quite a few of my family have been to India before and the noise is chaotic.”
He said: “Before I go I will be spending time learning some useful phrases and about the projects. We will be doing a couple of placements with local churches and Sunday schools – there are about four million Christians in India and I will be around the corner from where Mother Theresa worked and lived.”
His main obstacle is raising the £4,500 needed by the end of August to cover his costs and he has already embarked on various fund-raising efforts. A coffee morning raised over £300. Carres Grammar School is holding a non-uniform day to raise money, and Cameron visited his old primary school, Chestnut Street School, with Priest-in-training Sara Davies, to talk about his travel plans as they are also holding a non-uniform day. Cameron told present day pupils about his time at the school, as well as his hope of making a difference to children in poverty in Calcutta.
Cameron said: “I am also hoping to get a grant from a local association and sponsorship from family and friends. I am about half way there.”
On his return to England, Cameron will be spending two months travelling around the country, joining in with various church projects as well as sharing his experiences in India.