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Big success for community-funded African trip

Trinity Academy says that the expedition to Zambia was a 'life-changing' experience for pupils

Posted by Julian Owen | October 14, 2017 | Events

Students have spoken of having the experience of a lifetime working as home helpers with Aids victims and children with special needs during an expedition to Zambia.

Families and the local community of Thorne and Moorends supported the students’ fundraising for the trip at a supermarket bag-pack and by sponsoring them in various events to help them hit their pre-travel target of £12,000.

Now they have returned and shared their memories of learning some of the local language, etiquette and customs, and trying food like nshima - a Zambia staple made from maize - using only their hands and sharing plates.

One of their first tasks was to visit and fetch water for a man with Aids. Thomas Bunce, 17, said: “I was a bit nervous at first because I’ve never met anyone with Aids before but I very soon realised he was just another person. He couldn’t walk so we found some branches and made him a crutch.”

A major part of the students’ work was with children from the village and a local primary school for whom they ran crafts and games lessons.

The students painted a new classroom at Donata School for the Disabled, played with the children, learned some sign language and watched a performance by the pupils.

Ethan Green, 17, said: “The children were so happy, yet they had very little. It showed me that no matter how small something seems, if it’s all someone has then it can be very meaningful.”

The students spent a night sleeping in the open air with just a mosquito net for protection, and climbed and abseiled down Mount Mumpu, the tallest freestanding mountain in Zambia. 

They also got the chance to go on safari where they saw zebras, giraffes, an African fish eagle and a Komodo dragon.

Thomas added: “Zambia is very, very different. It makes you look at yourself, the life you have, the things you’ve got and the opportunities we have here.”

David Page, principal of Trinity Academy, added: “Opportunities like this take an enormous amount of work by staff but the rewards for our students are thoroughly worth the effort in terms of boosting their self-confidence and self-esteem. It helped them to develop as young adults, create new friendships and promoted their team-building, communication leadership skills.

“Travelling overseas and far outside their comfort zones is central to our character-first education, as is the importance of serving others in their own community and beyond. This was a fulfilling experience that our students will remember for the rest of their lives.”

 

 

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