Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland


Friends' pupils undertake vital expedition in Tanzania

Friends' pupils reach the summit on the- trekking phase or tae expedition.A pride of lions during safari in Ruhua National Park.TARANTULA'S in the toilet and acclimatising to blistering heat were just some of the challenges facing a group of 40 students from Friends' School, Lisburn this summer as they spent a month in southern Tanzania helping at a school in the village of Msosa.

The pupils left the comforts of home in Lisburn in July to undertake the expedition through World Challenge, a group who provide educational expeditions in the developing world which teach life skills, stretch comfort zones and expand minds outside the classroom.

Friends' pupils teaching English in a local primary school with the help of 'Head, shoulders, knees and toes'The pupils each raised the funds needed for their travel to Tanzania through various fundraising initiatives, and collectively they raised over �1,000 towards the project.

During their stay the pupils undertook vital work around the school, helping to build a toilet block with ten toilets for the 400 pupils, who had previously shared just two toilets.

The Friends' pupils also helped out by painting an orphanage and teaching the children in Msosa Primary School.

Pupils from Msosa Primary School in participating in a massive Hokey Cokey, lead by pupils from Friends' School Lisburn during their recent World Challenge expedition.Whilst in Tanzania the pupils carried out different tasks and trekked across the country, whilst they also went on a safari to a National Park.

The pupils' first stop in Tanzania was Dar Es Salaam, the largest city in Tanzania. One of the participants on the project, Shannon Rainey, commented: "Taking the first steps into this poverty-stricken city was a daunting experience for everyone. Despite being the commercial capital of Tanzania, it was rundown and with children asking us for money, it made us acutely aware of our own comfortable lifestyles."

Speaking about their work at Msosa Primary School Shannon said, "While the boys got stuck into the manual labour of building a toilet block, the girls taught the village schoolchildren, where we traded some basic English for an introduction to Swahili. For many, this was the most rewarding part of our trip."

The pupils were also treated to a two-day safari in Ruaha National Park. Describing the trip, Shannon explained: "We were not disappointed. We saw lions, giraffes, elephants and even got to enjoy our lunch overlooking the hippo pool."

"The trip for us was an unforgettable experience," added fellow pupil's Jane McCarty and Sara-Louise McCammond. "We feel we have gained a lot of independence and learnt new things about a brilliant country. We would like to thank anyone who was involved in helping us raising the money for the trip."

Ulster Star