By Monica Gibson

A CARING teenager is inviting people in Barrhead to enjoy a cuppa and a chat to raise money for some of the world’s poorest children.

Sixteen-year-old Marrisa Roxburgh is hosting an afternoon tea this weekend in support of the Betty Cunningham International Trust.

The St Luke’s High pupil recently spent two weeks in Kaponda, Malawi, where she joined forces with students from Barrhead High and Eastwood High to paint the walls of a school built by the Trust, as well as teaching the kids to count and play games.

But Marrisa, who hopes to become a youth worker after she leaves school, believes it was the Barrhead visitors who learned the most important lesson.

She told the Barrhead News: “We had an amazing time in Malawi. It really opened our eyes.

“When you compare what these kids have to what we are used to, they really have nothing and yet they just seem so happy.

“We gave them pencils and bits of stationary and they were so grateful. They constantly have smiles on their faces.

“If we have a hole in our jumper or something, we throw it away. We are so wasteful but they are not like that at all.”

Councillor Betty Cunningham, who represents Liboside, Barrhead and Uplawmoor, has been involved in supporting communities in Malawi for more than a decade and is full of praise for students who sign up for the trip to Africa.

Keen to continue supporting the Trust, Marrisa is inviting as many people as possible to join her for tea and cake on Saturday.

She said: “Being out in Malawi was physically and emotionally draining but I loved every minute.

“I’ve watched Children In Need and wanted to go out to Africa and do this kind of work but actually being there has totally changed my outlook in life.

“I don’t want the trip to be the end of the experience, so I will keep trying to support the Trust.”

Marissa’s Afternoon Tea coincides with Barrhead’s Christmas lights switch-on.

You can show your support by popping into the Masonic Lodge, in Cochrane Street, Barrhead, between 1pm and 3pm.

Entry costs £2.50.

To find out more about the Betty Cunningham Trust, click here.