A group of JBVI Students set off for an experience of a lifetime in Kenya back in October, accompanied by Mrs Fletcher and Mr Simpson. But this all started months earlier, as students and staff worked hard to raise the funds needed to pay for the trip through a range of activities, including being sponsored to spend the night inside Chillingham Castle! The NCEA Trust governors also supported the trip through the NCEA Endowment Fund, a fund set up by the original sponsors of the Academy to provide additional opportunities for young people to develop new experiences beyond the classroom. Here’s how the adventure developed in the students’ own words!
“Our first full day as volunteers saw us at the Enketing Lepa Primary School, a school for girls rescued from FGM and the children of widows. While we were visiting, the boys played football where we struggled to beat the school team, then we danced for students and they sang for us. We learnt about all the hard work at the women’s village. The day was filled with more song and dance and another perspective of life in Kenya.”
“We next spent a few days at Olkoroi Camp in Olorte. Here we planted Meringa trees as part of a new project to build a sustainable food garden at the locals Maasi school. We also dug out some very large weeds as well as digging the holes for the new fence to protect it all. We joined the red tribe for a day and painted a house for a lady who had previously had to walk for an hour and a half to get to the bead work centre. After we had finished she owned the best house in the village. We also attended a church service with the local community and had a question and answer sessions with some local warriors before leaving for Labentera.”
“We played our second game of football against Maasai Academy. It was a long and well fought-out game. We lost 11-10 in a game that went on for over two hours on a quartz pitch!”
“We helped to build two roads. Our first road to Enturra Naibour had a spectacular view of Lake Natron and allowed the Land Cruisers access to an area that had previously been cut off for the last six months. Our second road was in Labentera which would allow Land Cruisers to carry meals to the top of the local hills, providing a better service and so more income to the local Maasai tribe.”
“To see what local conditions were really like, we worked and lived for a dollar a day. Some of the group shopped and then cooked the food while some of us cleared a local swimming hole of debris that had built up over the rainy season.”
“The local Maasai tribe held a celebration in our honour, we were all blessed and celebrated on our entry into the village. There was a party afterwards for everyone although we thought it was a bit smokey! The Maasai love song and dance so we sang ‘Blaydon Races’ for them before we left.”
“It wasn’t all work in Kenya. We spent our first full day white water rafting with Savage Wilderness. We practiced the manoeuvres on land before entering the water. We had lots of fun before we came back to Wildebeest Eco Camp – then headed off to the depths of Maasailand.”