Students' drive to help orphans

A SUFFOLK student moved by the plight of Calcutta's orphans is embarking on an incredible 15,000km journey in a vintage car to raise money for charity.

A SUFFOLK student moved by the plight of Calcutta's orphans is embarking on an incredible 15,000km journey in a vintage car to raise money for charity.

George Vlasto, from Monks Eleigh, near Sudbury, has spent the past ten months in the city studying Indian history and culture at Calcutta University but when his studies ended in June he did not want to just get on a plane.

Instead, with fellow Edinburgh University student, Max Benitz, from London, he decided to drive home in an Ambassador - a 1947 designed car which is still built in India.

They will drive the 15,000km - a journey which involves passing through 17 countries, three mountain ranges and two deserts - in an estimated 75 days.

The two students are hoping to raise thousands of pounds for Calcutta-based Future Hope, which provides homes and education for street children, and the Royal Marsden Hospital in London.

Mr Vlasto, 22 said: “I was rather apprehensive when I first saw our car. But I have fixed the indicator by hitting it, so perhaps it is a good thing it's easily repaired.

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“We wanted to do this because Future Hope takes children from the street where they face a life of drug-abuse, crime and inescapable poverty and provides them with housing, education and a loving environment.

“We have both worked with many of the children and have met some who have left Future Hope to go into good jobs or even university - achievements that would have been unthinkable without the charity.”

Their second charity is the Royal Marsden, particularly its breast cancer unit.

To sponsor the duo visit www.justgiving.com/royalmarsdendrivehome or /futurehopedrivehome

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