Lower 6th's Amazing Kenyan Adventure
On Saturday 13th July, twenty Lower 6th students travelled to Nakuru, Kenya for ten days' volunteering at Ungana Academy, a school for local children in the deprived district of Kaptembwa. The trip was the culmination of a busy year of fundraising activities for the students, who raised almost £10,000 for Ungana Academy, enabling the school to put down the £7,000 deposit required to purchase the land on which it is situated and to pay for new floors, furniture, textbooks and food. All in all it was a memorable, poignant and hugely enjoyable trip for the College team of students and two members of staff, Head of German, Kate Gregory and Teacher of Art, Chris Sutherland.
Ungana Academy was originally set up to provide the local children from the slum area with a hot meal each day. Over the years, the Academy has developed and although it continues to look after the basic welfare of the children, it is now also an academic school with high expectations and 280 pupils.
Arriving at the Academy, the Sixth Form students divided their time between teaching specialist subjects, including music, to the young pupils, and helping to complete construction work and painting around the school. Lower Sixth student Inez described how the College students and staff "instantly felt welcome" at Ungana Academy as they "were greeted by lots of smiling faces from both teachers and children". The teachers were also "so impressed with our lessons that most lasted for hours, especially music, and on some days (they) were happy to let us lead the classroom teaching for the whole day."
After a week's teaching and working at the school, the students explored the sights of Nakuru, going on an amazing safari in the national park, shopping at the local market and attending a joyous three-hour church service. On a visit to a dump site, the students saw for themselves how the large amounts of rubbish and plastic impact the lives of the local people. The students also visited a school that is further developed than Ungana Academy and so gained an idea of what the Academy will hopefully soon become.
On the final Monday, College students and staff bade an emotional farewell to everyone at Ungana Academy, with whom they had worked so closely for a full week. The older children of the Academy sang a beautiful goodbye song and in the evening the College team were joined by the teachers for dinner, games and dancing and one final goodbye.
The Kenya team had raised almost £10,000 for the Ungana Academy thanks to their many fundraising projects throughout the year, including busking in Cambridge, a quiz night, a non-uniform day, selling ice lollies at break and lunchtimes and two students shaving their heads at the end of term! The team also brought with them stationery, clothing and sports equipment to bolster the school’s supplies.
For Inez, the trip to Kenya was the "best trip I have been on during my time at the College"; it has been "an honour...to create an impact on the children and teachers at the Ungana academy” and "we’ve made friends for life that we will never forget." "On behalf of the team, I would like to thank Mr Sutherland and Miss Gregory for organising such an incredible trip and making everything run so smoothly. For those lucky people attending next summer, it is by far the most rewarding experience and a once in a life time opportunity which will forever be in my heart”.
You can read all about last year's trip here.