On 6th December 2019, 38 of our Y12 IB students returned from their IB CAS trip to Tanzania. During the 8-day trip, they took part in a range of different activities from community project work to developing their outdoor skills and spotting wildlife on Safari. The students had the opportunity to work with students from 3 other Nord Anglia schools and were split into 4 groups which rotated between different activities. Not only did they develop new skills, but the students were also able to gain an insight into the way of life of the local Tanzanian people.
Project Work: Goat Shed and Solar Lighting
The project work was undertaken with a charity called SeeWay (www.swtz.org) which provides a range of community projects in Tanzania. One of the projects took one day, during which students went to the home of a local family to build a goat shed. They were instructed by a local builder and built the shed from scratch which required them to dig foundation holes, measure and saw wooden panels to the correct sizes, and lots of hammering! At the end of the day the students then donated a goat to the family. The milk will provide a nutritious food source that the family would not have had access to before, and the family will also be able to breed the goat and sell the offspring as a source of income.
Some students also spent part of the day installing solar lighting system. This was particularly beneficial to the family as it will be the first time they will have had electrical lighting which means the children would then be able to complete their homework in the evenings after school (which was previously not possible).
The final task undertaken by the students was to construct a smokeless stove. This was a design developed by BSB students several years ago and provides a more effective and safe method of cooking for the family.
The day was extremely rewarding, particularly as the students were also given the opportunity to get to know the families and ask them about their daily lives. There was a lot of hard work involved and our students certainly rose to the challenge. It was amazing to come away at the end of the day, knowing the family will benefit immediately from the work that was done.
Project Work: Building a School
The second project was again run by the SeeWay charity and involved work on a building site for a new secondary school over 2 days. The students dug and filled in new foundations, laid bricks and plastered walls. This was exhausting yet worthwhile work!
During the lunch break, students visited the SeeWay residence which provides a home for vulnerable young people in the area. They also got to visit the school that was built by previous BSB students several years ago which is now open and educating 75 local students. It is also the only school in the area that has provision for students with special educational needs and it was a real pleasure to see this facility up and running.
Another highlight of this day was when some of the local school children came to play with our students. Many of these children will directly benefit from the new school as currently they would have to walk at least 5km each day to the current secondary school.
Coffee Plantation and Dolly Bush Camping:
During this day student visited a local fair-trade coffee farm. They had a tour from a member of the local village who gave a special insight into village life as well as the process of coffee production. They got to witness coffee being picked, shelled, dried, sorted and then roasted and spoke to the farmers about the importance of fair-trade. After this they had the opportunity to taste samples of the coffee and purchase products from the local shop.
After lunch at camp, the students were transported to a local reserve called Dolly Bush where they set up tents, cooked their own evening meal (most of which was edible!) and had a camp fire (weather permitting). It was a nice opportunity to reflect on the week so far and what was still to come.
For many the safari was the highlight of the week. Students were transported to Tarangire National Park on big open-top safari vehicles. The journey allowed students to observe local Maasai villages, witness them herding cattle and learn a little about their culture from our local guides. In the afternoon we entered the park and students were lucky enough to observe most of the wildlife the park had to offer. Some groups were lucky enough to see lions and leopards, and all groups spotted lots of elephants, giraffe, zebra, wilder beast, warthogs and many species of birds including ostriches.
In the evening students camped out amongst the wildlife in the national park. They battled bugs, rain and one group even got stuck in the mud, however all found it an amazing experience!
On the way back from the National Park, student stopped at a local arts and crafts shop to purchase some hand-crafted souvenirs. They visited a special charity facility that employs local disabled people who produce clothing, jewellery, glassware, art and ornaments all from recycled materials. Some of our students even got to try glass-blowing!
Long journeys, all types of weather, wildlife encounters and making a difference to the local community made this a trip to remember! It is great to see that students came away with a sense of achievement after working hard and being pushed out of their comfort zones. For many, this was a unique opportunity to gain a new perspective on life based on their experiences of local culture on this trip. Well done Year 12s!
Ms. Lucy Thompson
Tanzania Trip Leader, Assistant Head of Science