A student at the University of St Andrews has launched a young person’s travel guide in aid of children’s charities around the world.
Laura Konkel (21) will donate profits from her new book to a range of children’s charities across the globe.
The book, ‘Wannabee in… London with me!,’ is the first in a series of travel guides aimed specifically at children, and published to coincide with the influx of visitors for the 2012 Olympic Games.
Laura, a fourth year International Relations student from Canada, has been involved in charity work with her family since the age of five.
The idea has been inspired by the time Laura spent as a youngster with Zambian children suffering from AIDS.
She told the Citizen: “Helping others is important to my family.
‘‘It is a wonderful thing to know that small but meaningful things can make such a huge difference in people’s lives.”
When she was 16, Laura travelled to Zambia with her school and, for a month, helped build houses for Habitat for Humanity.
She explained: “Most of the village children were orphaned because of AIDS.
‘‘I will never forget Richard, or Lillian or any of the other children who will no longer be just a statistic but little people who loved to laugh and play.”
The guide book, which is aimed at children and their families, includes trivia, history and entertaining facts about sites including the thinnest house in London. The re-opening of the Cutty Sark Museum was added the day before its publication.
The British High Commission has endorsed the book, while The Lord Mayor of London, David Wotton, supplied the foreword.
Laura added: “Travelling with my parents as a child, I discovered that there is a need for travel books specifically designed for children and not merely directed toward their parents.
‘‘The WANNABEE travel series aims to change the concept of family travel by selecting things unique to each featured city that aren’t what they would ordinarily expect to see as a tourist.”
In recognition of Laura’s time at St Andrews, and to coincide with the university’s 600th anniversary, she will donate designated proceeds from the sale of the book towards the 2012 Class Gift, part of which will go towards scholarships.
She will also make her e-book available for free to any registered children’s charity.