RATHER than jet off on a romantic break, big-hearted Hagley newlyweds Clare and Dave Roberts will be spending their honeymoon building a refuge for young girls in Kenya.

The couple, who wed in December, will join a group of aid workers helping to build a refuge for young Maasai girls fleeing female circumcision and forced marriage.

Clare, aged 33, a teacher at an independent Birmingham school, and 38-year-old Dave, who works with adults with learning disabilities in Birmingham, have funded the two-week trip by asking friends and relatives to make financial contributions rather than buy items from a wedding list.

Clare said: "People have been amazingly generous.

"We're not really the sitting on the beach types and wouldn't feel comfortable booking a luxurious romantic holiday for ourselves.

“This will be one of the most memorable things we'll do in our lives, I expect, and that is what we wanted from a honeymoon. There is always time to be romantic throughout the rest of the year and throughout our lives.”

She added: “We were drawn to Kenya because of the chance to go on a safari at the end. We were also drawn by the idea of working with children, which both of us enjoy doing for our jobs, and helping with some building work, a new challenge for both of us.”

The Maasai Rescue Centre, which the couple will be helping to build, will comprise a dormitory and classrooms and will offer a safe haven and education opportunities for young Maasai girls.

The trip has been co-ordinated by global Christian aid charity Mission Direct which enables teams of UK volunteers to take part in projects that benefit communities in some of the world's poorest countries.

The couple are due to fly out on March 31.

To find out more about the charity’s projects and aims check out www.missiondirect.org