A SEDGLEY pensioner will be putting himself to the test next week, walking more than 90km in soaring temperatures in Eastern Africa, all in the name of charity.
Doug Brazenall, is flying out to a village called Yamba on Thursday, high in the West Usambara Mountains, in Tanzania, but will be making the last stage of the journey by foot and has cajoled his former next-door neighbour, Mark Wilkes, into completing the journey with him.
Starting from the last large town to Yamba, called Tanga, Doug and Mark will spend five days waking over rough, rocky and sandy terrain, battling temperatures in the mid 30 degrees, while spending overnight stops in various remote villages along the way.
The pair are making the trip to raise money for Village Africa, a charity based in Yamba, which is working in the village to help alleviate poverty and death rates.
Doug is no stranger to the charity’s work after first volunteering in the African village with his wife, Maureen, in 2007 when they spent three months teaching English.
The couple now run Village Africa’s national Sponsor a Child scheme from their Penns Wood Close home, which provides funding for the many orphaned youngsters living in the village and Doug even had a newborn Yamba baby named after him, who is now five years-old.
Doug, who spent more than three decades in the police force, said: “The route we are taking is used by the charity to make emergency trips to hospital. These trips have saved many lives and have helped to halve the death rate in Yamba and Milingano, the villages supported by Village Africa. These trips are expensive and funds are urgently needed for them to continue.
“Two of the days will be particularly tough, especially for a newly qualified pensioner like me. The first day covers 30kms and the last, although shorter, is a long and very steep climb to Yamba which is perched atop a mountain.
“When I first started planning the trip I spoke to Mark, who was my next-door neighbour and he happily agreed to join me. I was a little worried when he promptly moved house but we are now both really looking forward to it.”
To sponsor Doug and Mark visit mycharitypage.com/BabuDoug/
Anyone interested in finding more out about Village Africa should visit villageafrica.org.uk/