Embree girls heading to West Africa

Published on December 13, 2012

Rachel Schock will be joined by Emily Mews and Monica Wells on a humanitarian trip to West Africa in 2013.

Karen Wells photo

EMBREE — Monica Wells and Emily Mews are counting down the days to March 7-17, 2013 when they will take part in a humanitarian trip to West Africa.
The two 14-year-old girls have been accepted to take part in the program “Change Your World Global Challenge” offered through Tattered Tiaras, an organization based on equipping and empowering girls. They will be going to Dakar, the capital city of Senegal, with a population of over one million people.

Rachel Schock is one of two team leaders for the humanitarian trip. She is also the Youth Pastor at the church in Embree attended by Monica and Emily, Glad Tidings Pentecostal Tabernacle.

“Going on the trip specifically what we will be doing is working with organizations that help women and girls in that country,” said Ms. Schock. “They will be working with a deaf school, so the girls will have to learn some sign language. They will also be working with street kids, doing some day programs with them and going to visit a baby orphanage.

“This is basically exposing the girls to a different culture — getting them outside of their comfort zone, making sure they know it’s not just us in the world, but to serve others and be aware of what others go through across the world.”

The girls found out about the trip at one of the Tattered Tiara Girls Nights Ms. Schock has hosted. Ms. Schock says she has always been passionate about helping girls get through tough times in their lives. At these Girls Nights there is a panel that share their stories with girls from junior high to high school age. They address situations in their own lives from break-ups, to divorce in families, drama with friends, depression, eating disorders, etc. 

“We share our stories and make sure they know the good ways to get through it and the bad ways to get through it,” she said.

Ms. Schock invited girls attending these events to consider applying for the trip to Senegal. The application required the girls to tell a bit about themselves and their lives, and why they wanted to take part in the trip.

“I want to experience what other people are living through, and experience another culture and how they live,” Monica said, noting that her mother, father and sister had gone on a mission trip to Africa a couple of years ago. “I wasn’t old enough to go when they went, even though I had wanted to go. Now is my chance.”

Emily also has her reasons for wanting to take part in this trip.

“It has always been a dream of mine to go somewhere like this and it is something I consider doing in the future, being a missionary,” she said. “So this will give me a taste of that.”

Ms. Schock is pleased that two girls she knows from her duties as a Youth Pastor will be going on the trip. When speaking with The Pilot a couple of weeks ago, she said at that time that two other girls from Ontario and one from British Columbia had also been accepted to take part in the trip, along with a co-leader from Poland.

Before heading to Africa the girls will have two days in Paris, France. Ms. Schock said normally the team would get together and do their training in Toronto before heading on to the larger trip, but they will be meeting up with the other leader in Paris. So they will have one day of training and one day to see the sights before heading to Dakar.

Emily is looking forward to the new experiences that will await her in West Africa.

Monica shares that enthusiasm but noted, “I am really excited, but nervous at the same time. It’s something totally different and the only place I’ve really been to is Toronto.”

Ms. Schock is pleased the girls will have this opportunity.

“It is very hands-on. The girls will be assigned different tasks once we get there and mostly independent — we won’t be hovering over them,” she said.

Her hope for the girls on this trip is to experience a level of emotional maturity that might be hard to find at home in Embree.

“I want them to know that the world is a lot bigger than them and they can offer so much,” said Ms. Schock. “Changing their world can start with small things and they can be a big help no matter where they are.

“Life isn’t just about me, me, me — but about others as well.”

Emily and Monica have undertaken a number of fundraising efforts so far. Each must come up with $3,000 to make the journey to Senegal. So far they have held fundraisers such as a gospel concert, bake sale and cold plate sale. Anyone wishing to contribute to their efforts is welcome to contact their families if they know them personally; or contact Ms. Shock at the church.