In summer last year 31 pupils from Springfield School in Portsmouth travelled to Kenya on a School Expeditions trip with African Adventures.
When deputy head teacher John Lomas took a group of Key Stage 4 pupils to Kenya last year his goal was to help them become more globally aware, to give them a new appreciation of what they had, and to make a difference to schools in Kenya.
He also hoped the trip would tie in to Ofstead requirements concerning character development.
“It’s in the new Ofstead criteria that personal development is one of the aspects that schools should be developing and this trip was planned to help in that aspect, in terms of confidence, global awareness and employability,” explained John.
Hosted by African Adventures, the trip was planned to last ten days and saw pupils contributing to three volunteer projects in the country.
Throughout the experience pupils stayed in basic chalet-style accommodation in the suburb of Nakuru.
During the trip pupils would spend the mornings volunteering in either teaching, building or sports coaching capacities and afternoons in lessons or further building or sporting activities.
At mid-morning, students would serve porridge to local children and at lunchtime they’d serve hot meals.
Springfield School building kitchen at Love For All in Kenya
When pupils returned from the trip, they commented that they felt differently about the world than they had before.
“Going out to Kenya has been a life-changing experience,” explained Freya Hardyman, student at Springfield School. “I would do it again if I ever got the chance. It’s made me look at things differently and realise how much we take things for granted.”
Pupil Lottie Kale said: “Going to Kenya has made me really appreciative of what I have. Seeing how little people have out there, yet they are still so happy, really made me realise how lucky I am. The trip was an eye-opener for me, and I have noticed a change in how I spend my money, as I think I value it a lot more now.”
Parents of the students who went on the trip also noticed a change in their children when they returned.
“My daughter Clare had a fantastic time and learnt more than she could ever have done in a classroom or from a book about a different part of the world and how others live,” said Annette Ablitt, parent of Clare McConnachie. “As she put it “it was no holiday Mum - it was a life experience!”
Parent Tessa Webber said: “In childhood there are key moments which shape who we are and the way we think. From listening to my daughter Amy and sharing her incredible experience in Kenya I know this is one of hers.
“It will not necessarily be evident today or possibly even this year but hearing about the way the team pulled together, shared a common goal and touched the lives of those less fortunate than themselves will shape and guide decisions and choices in her future years.”
To find out more about African Adventures visit www.african-adventures.co.uk.