This year, Oakham school are celebrating 10 years of travelling to Kenya with AV. These school trips to Africa are not your average field trip! They involve charitable work with local communities, a safari and much more. The collaboration has achieved so much over the last decade, thanks to the hard work of the students and staff at Oakham School and we are immensely proud to be able to share some of those achievements with you ahead of their 10th anniversary trip…
What happens on AV School Trips to Africa?
Every year, a group of students from Oakham, a secondary school in Rutland in the UK, make the journey from England to rural Kenya. They spend time helping village schools with maintenance and classroom improvements, making long-term changes that truly impact the lives of the children they work with.
During 10 years of the Kenyan school project, Oakham students have transformed a number of primary schools, both inside and out. Their successes have included plastering 17 classrooms and painting 16, changing the school environment completely. They have also contributed in other ways; building 884 new seats and 308 triple desks for the schools and kindergarten. These numbers translate to a safer, better learning space for the children.
But they haven’t stopped there, during their annual school trip to Africa the students have also been successful in building verandas, painting blackboards and creating beautiful murals, as well as giving the kindergarten furniture a much needed makeover. The teachers have received 7 new tables and chairs. On the school buildings, they have replaced roofing sheets and put up water tanks and guttering to help prolong the life of these essential buildings so they can continue to provide a home for education for many years to come.
Making a difference to the children of Africa
Oakham bought the materials for the additional projects that they have completed whenever they had extra money during their school trips to Africa, raised from events at the school prior to their departure. This method allows them to be more flexible and see what the schools need when they get to the site. They then do what they can in response, buying supplies from local stores. As a result, the project is never the same from one year to the next and each cohort of students is responsible for finding solutions to each new challenge.
The schools Oakham and AV have worked with include Mutethia, Riandira, North Karati, Nyondia, Sher Moi and Maua. These are located in Meru County, in the Eastern Province of Kenya. In 2015 the project moved to Uganda for one year when they worked in Al Swiddiq and Aisha primary schools. Over that time they have helped hundreds of children to benefit from an improved educational environment which is a huge achievement and an opportunity for the children of Oakham to give something back to people who are less fortunate.
The fundraising is part of the fun!
The school takes pride in offering the opportunity to their students each year. An important part of the experience for every group is fundraising for their school trip to Africa. Students participating in the 2020 trip raised over £1300 during Speech Day at the school in May. This impressive figure was reached in just 2 and a half hours!
Other fundraising efforts have included a cricket match and music concert. This is a chance for the students to be creative and learn valuable skills in organising and promoting their events. It is also great fun and something that the whole school can get involved with.
A meaningful and memorable African adventure
In return for all their hard work, the students also have some time to travel to other areas of Kenya whilst they are visiting. Part of the appeal of school trips to Africa lies in the additional activities the students can take part in. One of the most popular is a safari in Nairobi National Park. This year, AV will take the group to Naviasha instead, close to Crater Lake. The proximity to the lake means that this area is lush throughout the year and animals are plentiful.
In previous years, they have taken boat safaris and gone on game drives too. There is also time for the students to relax and socialise by the pool, as a reward for their hard work during the project. Our Kenya-based AV representatives arrange the itinerary to ensure that the students have a balance between intense activity and down time.
The experience is truly valuable for everyone involved. For many of the students it is a once in a life time opportunity to travel to a country that is completely different to their own. The unique nature of the project and the range of experiences on offer ensures that they never forget the year they took a school trip to Africa.
Could your school be next?
If you like the sound of school trips to Africa with AV then give us their contact details and we will get in touch, or alternatively ask your teacher to contact us on 01380 729009 or email@example.com and you could be starting your very own school trip to Africa soon!