South Woodford teen makes it to Thailand on charity ‘jailbreak’ challenge

PUBLISHED: 12:06 08 February 2016 | UPDATED: 12:06 08 February 2016

Jessica Jourja, 19, Lynne Sakr, 18, and Riana Barrow, 18, in Bangkok, Thailand. Picture: Farm Africa

Jessica Jourja, 19, Lynne Sakr, 18, and Riana Barrow, 18, in Bangkok, Thailand. Picture: Farm Africa


A teenager raising money for charity made it to the other side of the planet – without spending a penny.

London School of Economics (LSE) student Jessica Jourja, 19, from South Woodford, took part in a “jailbreak” challenge with two fellow students to see how far they could get from London, while raising money for Farm Africa.

The group, one of 15 student teams that had just 36 hours to escape from their campus “prison”, made it to Bangkok, Thailand – almost 10,000km away.

The girls made it to Heathrow Airport by Tube after kind-hearted Londoners put money on their Oyster cards. The students then secured return plane tickets courtesy of Thai Airways.

Philosophy, politics and economics student Jessica said: “We emailed lots of people and we managed to find the email address of someone working at Thai Airways and they were able to help us.

“I think the hardest part was making sure we were able to get the flights – we were going back and forth with them for a while.”

In a chance encounter on the plane, Jessica said she was spotted by the daughter of Farm Africa’s chairman, who told them to “keep up the good work”.

“On the flight we were wearing the Farm Africa T-shirts and she happened to be on the flight and she spotted us – that was amazing.”

The charity works with farmers in east Africa to help increase their harvests, whether they farm crops, livestock or fish.

The girls raised £500 in donations to go towards the cause.

Jessica said: “I would recommend other students get involved – it was amazing.

“Thailand was amazing too, the food was fantastic. It was a surreal experience.”

To find out more about the charity visit

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