As you may recall, at the beginning of August some of our Year 10 (now Year 11) and Year 11 (now 2017 leavers) journeyed to Nakuru, Kenya to volunteer at project schools assisting with teaching, sports coaching and building work. They were also accompanied by a team of Springfield staff. The trip was organised through African Adventures who are a charitable organisation that offer affordable school expeditions providing a challenging and rewarding learning experience.
Mr Lomas, Head of PDL and Enterprise who co-ordinated the trip said "This is a challenging expedition enhancing pupils’ personal development. The whole experience from fund raising to the impact the Year 10 and 11 pupils have had on the Kenyan schools (and Kenya on the groups) has been incredible. The school returns to Nakuru every two years to continue the work started from the previous visit. This began in 2013, continued in 2015 and 2017. Planning for 2019 will begin in April 2018. Our school community values this trip very highly due to the enterprise culture that develops in the year leading up to the visits and the mind blowing impact of the poverty our pupils experience as well as the huge difference they make to over 700 Kenyan children’s lives each time. They teach, repair and make classrooms, make desks, paint and above all embrace the culture of this country. This is aid going direct to the source of the problem."
Year 11 pupil Olivia Beynon comments "First of all I would like to thank Mr Lomas and the other Springfield staff for organising this eye-opening trip and making it possible for me to attend. The whole experience truly began with the fundraising where I soon realised that if I really wanted to go, I must work for it. As a teenager, I feel this motivated me to do something other than using my phone! I will admit that, at first, the money needed seemed unmanageable and too much to raise. However I was happily proven wrong as I succeeded in raising the whole amount. Throughout fundraising, I kept an excel spreadsheet to keep track of the money needed which greatly improved my IT and organisation skills. One of the best fundraisers was bag packing which helped me grow in confidence when speaking to the public as well as make new friends and work in a team. Even before I set foot in Kenya I was already becoming a better person. I can honestly say Kenya has been the best experience of my life. It was truly inspiring to see how people who, in our eyes, have so little can be so happy and strong. Such things that we take for granted: pencils, pens, a large classroom to work in or even just a school are things a Kenyan child are so grateful for. We gave many gifts like stationery, clothes and balls and I will never forgot the look on the children's faces when they got to play with the beach balls - they were ecstatic! However the most precious gift I gave was simply spending time with the children and making them feel loved and special. This time is invaluable and, although I am not there now, will continue to enrich their education - the effects are everlasting. The most inspiring thing I saw was their attitude to learning; it was their holidays yet they continued to teach themselves every single day. I know that when I was ten I never valued my education the way they do and my African Adventure has shown me just how fortunate I am- I will always value my education. Having the opportunity to repair buildings and paint was brilliant. I loved the fact that what I was doing would help in years to come and wouldn't end when I had to leave. I have never built mud walls before so it was exciting to learn the ways of Kenyan culture and experience a very different building style of a country much poorer than my own. I also got the opportunity to help make chapatis one lunch time and it was very interesting to see another culture's style of cooking. That same day we served the children food and we saw how they didn't waste anything which made me very aware that as a nation we should be much more mindful of our waste. The most difficult part of the trip was the home visits we did part way through the week. I was shocked that seven people lived in a room much smaller than an average room of an English home. Upon seeing this, it made the value and importance of helping the children even more real. Actually being there in a Kenyan home was surreal. I feel like the situation so many families are in is something my whole generation knows about yet are in denial of the facts. It is one of those taboo topics that is even joked about and it doesn't get the thought it deserves. It was an enlightening experience to be there knowing you were doing so much in a such difficult situation- a situation that is unimaginable unless witnessed first hand. I can genuinely say that this trip is an experience I am so fortunate to have had. It is rewarding in every way possible because not only does Kenya and its children benefit, it has enhanced my outlook on life in a way that never would have been possible without first hand experience. Thank you!"
Thank you to Mr Lomas, African Adventures and all the staff who gave up their time to volunteer for the trip.