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Ashley is in a real life drama

June 14, 2006, 0:00 3100 greenocktelegraph.co.uk Drama student Ashley McFarlane is off to work with street children in eastern Europe.

STREET ART: Drama student Ashley McFarlane (above) is off to work with street children in eastern Europe.

A JAMES Watt drama student is using her talents to reach out to street kids in Ukraine.

Ashley McFarlane will spend the summer running drama workshops for homeless children in the city of Odessa.

The 19-year-old is hoping the experience she has gained through her HND course in acting and performance will help give children in the Ukraine a new start.

Looking ahead to her visit, Ashley said: "Some of the girls are selling themselves for money to eat and they are only 12. I am going to be doing a lot of work with them.

"It is about giving them the chance to enjoy themselves for a week. There is a lot of poverty in the Ukraine and all the money is spent in the capital, Kiev."

It is Ashley's second visit to the Ukraine with the Salvation Army's Vision of Hope project.

She joined her Salvation Army officer dad Colin two years ago to work with orphans in the city of Kirovograd who were affected by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

Ashley said: "It is a very humbling and amazing experience. I am more nervous this time because I have a lot more responsibility."

The drama student is now dreaming of starring on the TV or in the theatre after finishing her course at the college.

But on her road to stardom she wants to help Ukraine's children through the Salvation Army's project in the eastern European country.

To raise more money for her trip Ashley, of Bridge of Weir, is going to abseil down a rockface in Perth later this month.

She said: "I already have the ?500 I need to go on the trip but the extra money will allow me to buy stuff for the children when I am over there."

The James Watt student has set up a website to showcase the Salvation Army's work in Ukraine.

As part of her course, Ashley has been involved in community art and put on a show along with the rest of her course called SOS with Inverclyde Arts.

To find out more about the project Ashley is involved in log on to www.vision-of-hope.co.uk

This story appeared in the Greenock Telegraph on Thu, 08 Jun, 2006

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