One of our year 11 students, Frances O’Neill participated in a volunteering trip to Gambia last month, with her Explorer Scout group.
Frances spent part of her trip at the primary school in Gunjur helping out with classes, games and painting murals in the playground. Frances is a fantastic ambassador for our school modelling our motto “Work Hard. Be Kind”. This is an account of her trip:
“I went on a 10-day trip with my scout troop to The Gambia on the west coast of Africa. We stayed at The Gunjur Project, a lodge for volunteers in the area of Gunjur, to volunteer our services to the local school of Kulukochi for 3-8 year olds.
While we were there we painted their playground/outdoor area and put in educational murals. We were also able to look around the area and we learnt a lot about the Gambians’ day-to-day life. We went to the local market to try out bartering (when you argue the price of an item). This is a custom in Gambia but felt very unnatural at first and took a lot of getting used to.
We also went to the local fishing centre and met 2 local scout groups of Medina and Gunjur. We went on a walk for health with them one morning, and to the beach to build rafts, and had two campfires, where we shared our experiences of scouting. This trip itself was so incredible, but it was the culmination of a lot of preparation and fundraising.
For the past year we’ve had meetings, team-building exercises and fundraised £1000 each in order to pay for accommodation and supplies to take to The Gambia – which included laptops for university students, resources for schools and paint for the Kulukochi school. It’s amazing to see how our determination to reach our goal made so much difference in people’s lives and helped to improve education for so many children.”