FILMMAKER Tom Greenidge has just returned from a project in Malawi where he helped to help combat HIV, drug abuse and teenage pregnancy.

Mr Greenidge, 26, from All Cannings near Devizes had already completed a placement with International Citizen Service in Zimbabwe but during his latest trip he led a team of young people.

In January he flew to Africa to start working with the charity Progressio as part of International Citizen Service which brings together 18 to 25-year-olds from all backgrounds to fight poverty in overseas and UK communities. He was based in the north of the country in the village of Nkhata Bay.

As well as leading the team he also captured hours of film that he is now turning into a documentary.

He said: "The project involved supporting the already established Youth Net and Counselling educating young people on issues of sexual reproductive health, teenage pregnancy, life skills and drug abuse.

"As a team we conducted weekly interactive workshops in schools and rural communities, trained parents on issues to support their children, trained new peer educators to ensure sustainable development from local youths, organised community awareness events involving health professionals, produced engaging blogs and case studies which we published online and established new networks in communities."

His job as team leader was to support and mentor his group and to report back to the project office in London.

He said: "Throughout the 6 months I lived with a host family in very basic living conditions. Cooking was done outside, washing done by hand and no hot water.

"Malawi is known as "the warm heart of Africa" and I found this to be absolutely true. Every day I would be warmly greeted on numerous occasions by the young and old.

"Despite difficult economic problems for many, people remain so happy and hard-working. The energy, positivity and laughter of the Malawian's is something I will never forget."

This ICS project in Nkhata Bay is now continuing building on what his team achieved. He said: "I feel very proud to have successfully met the targets, reached out to some many young people and already seen positive change in communities as a result."

He shot a large amount of film footage while in Malwai and is now in post-production for a new documentary that is due to be released later this month.