During half term, a group of Year 13 students travelled to The Gambia to carry out volunteering projects in the North Bank region of the small West African country. The main aims of the project were to volunteer in Clifton High School’s twin school in the rural village of Fass and to run other community projects of medical, hygiene and leisure themes. The students took with them 220 kg of donations, including pens, pencils, children’s parachutes, hand-sewn reusable sanitary products made by Clifton High School pupils, picture books, classroom equipment and many football strips, which were all well received by the school, clinic and the local children.
The group taught lessons in Mathematics, Science, the Menstrual Cycle, as well as Food and Nutrition, French and First Aid. They also enjoyed playing sports with the children, teaching songs and dances and reading to some of the younger children.
Clifton High School students also shared the seeds donated by Clifton High families, in the hope that these will go some way toward supplementing the local food supply. In the final two days of the visit the students were able to travel to the south of the country to explore the local area, meeting a crocodile and monkeys up close, as well as tasting the local cuisine in a restaurant and relaxing by the beach and swimming pool on the final day.
Thank you to Dr Caddy for leading and organising the visit and Ms Widdison for accompanying the group on this enriching and inspiring experience for our young people.
As well as benefitting the Gambian community, the visit undoubtedly had a positive impact on the volunteer students. In broadening their appreciation of how others across the world live in villages with no electricity or running water, students were able to demonstrate key qualities such as resilience, independence and empathy.