High-achieving Maria Kelly and Dave Hughes helped sew the seeds for a sustainable future for malnourished youngsters in Tanzania during an emotionally charged trip of a lifetime to Africa.
Maria, from Prestwich and Dave from Flixton in Manchester, were part of a delegation from leading business-to-business express delivery company, TNT, who flew out to Kilimanjaro to support the United Nations' World Food Programme (WFP) feed and educate impoverished orphans and youngsters.
The big-hearted duo swapped their daily lives at TNT's Trafford Park depot and flew more than 5,000 miles to spend time working with the WFP and helping the Tanzanian children.
Sales Manager, Maria and Depot Manager, Dave, witnessed, first hand, how the WFP makes the best possible use of TNT's annual donation of more than £7.5million to help feed and sustain hungry children.
One of the highlights of the five-day trip was a visit to the Kinyamwenda Primary School in the Singida District of Tanzania, where hundreds of children are fed and educated, courtesy of funds generated by TNT and the work conducted on the ground by WFP volunteers.
During their time at the school, Maria and Dave planted trees and crops to help provide for a decent harvest and local food supply for years to come. They also took to the school kitchen to serve the youngsters with their daily meal of maize and rice.
Remarking on the whole experience, Dave said: "It was very humbling, especially after spending time with young orphans and children who survive on just one bowl of rice and maize a day.
"I thought I had mentally prepared myself for the school visit with the WFP but in truth it was quite overwhelming - it was a case of sunglasses on to hide the emotions!"
Maria was similarly moved by what she found in Tanzania: "I felt privileged to have spent time with some remarkable children. They have so little in life and yet they never seemed to stop smiling. They melted our hearts and it put into perspective how fortunate we are with what we have and how we are able to live here in the UK."