SB Connect Winter 2016

Jedburgh Grammar pupils volunteer in Tanzania

Pupils with some of their new friends from Tanzania

Pupils and staff from Jedburgh Grammar are among the increasing number of students from Borders secondary schools who are experiencing the benefits of overseas volunteering opportunities.

Fourteen students and three members of staff took part in a memorable two-week trip to Tanzania in summer through the Vine Trust.

The group made their base at Berera Bible College in Moshi, where their main task was to work on the construction of homes for two families. They also travelled to other neighbouring areas, either for work party duties or cultural visits.

Depute Headteacher Laura Howe, who led the trip, said: “The group grafted by carrying buckets of stones, sand, water and tonnes of rock and building blocks, working alongside African craftsmen and volunteers.

“Although we were not able to see our own houses completed, we were privileged enough to participate in the opening of another house so we could see just what it means to a local family being able to move into a new home.”

The group also enjoyed cultural and sightseeing excursions including a visit to Kilimanjaro national park and an African dance night.

Laura added: “We have left many friends behind in Africa, but thanks to social media, have remained in contact with them all. We’ve also been able to follow the progress of our houses.”

The group has given talks to a number of groups, organisations and classes as they are keen to share their experiences and encourage other young people to take up a similar challenge.

Susan Oliver, Jedburgh Grammar Rector, said: “These pupils should be very proud of the commitment they have shown in making it all possible. It’s certainly an experience we would recommend to any young person who is given the chance to take part.”

Find out more at: www.vinetrust.org