An aid worker has launched a new charity from his home in Denny to help some of the poorest people in Africa.
Ethan Young, who has previously worked in Northern Ireland and in Israel’s West Bank, decided to branch out on his own after becoming disillusioned with the methods of larger organisations.
The 29-year-old has already registered Peace by Piece as a charity, and is now in the process of getting its first projects up and running.
Peace by Piece will support a network of villages in Kiengu, in a remote part of Kenya, which has recently been affected by famine.
It might sound like a daunting task, but Ethan has already visited the region and forged contacts with local residents’ groups.
He will work alongside others to help kick-start a series of community initiatives including a credit union and an internet cafe.
Ethan will next visit Kenya in October and, in the meantime, is hard at work making preparations from his home in McTaggart Avenue, Denny.
“I’ve been funding it myself, as well as receiving sponsorship from individuals” he explains.
While the projects he was working on are modest in size compared to those handled by bigger organisations, Ethan believes they can have longer lasting benefit.
“The big charities don’t have the time to stick around in individual communities.
“Our long term goal – without trying to sound too much like a Miss World contestant – is to help establish peace by starting at a grass roots level and building up.” he says.
“We will support existing groups and help them create lasting legacies in their communities.”
The former Grangemouth High pupil was working in finance at the University of Stirling when he first decided to embark on what he felt would be a more challenging and rewarding career.
Ethan, who has used a wheelchair since being diagnosed with muscular dystrophy as a teenager, signed up to take part in a charity trek across the Sahara desert, which provided the motivation to work helping others.
“We were invited for tea by a family of Bedouin herdsmen. I was struck by their hospitality, and sense of community, despite having so little. And here was me getting frustrated at my desk job.” he explains.
For more information on Peace by Piece, and volunteering opportunities, email email@example.com.