Apart from making new friendships our students have again discovered and experienced different aspects of Tanzanian culture and wildlife. Being lucky enough to go on this expedition for a second time it was nice to witness the impact of the different projects that Nord Anglia supports in the very poor communities surrounding Arusha, Tanzania.
The students were split up into three groups and followed a different itinerary, but eventually all participated in the same projects. With some brute force and determined hammering and sawing we made goat sheds, before moving to a more precise task of constructing school desks. Wood for both projects was bought with funds raised at our school throughout the school year. In addition, we built smokeless stoves and installed solar lights, rather small things that have a huge and immediate impact on poor families' daily lives. Probably the most demanding project the students did was digging and pick-axing their way through the arid and rocky ground of Nazareiti's primary school surroundings to build foundations for a new class room.
By questioning the long term impacts and sustainability of their actions during the ECA in China and evening reflection sessions in Tanzania the students learned that their individual contributions can be linked to the United Nation's Global Goals and that charity work comes with certain responsibilities too.
The students' hard work was rewarded with an amazing two day safari in Tarangire National Park. From a huge and rather comfortable 'ship on wheels' all groups got to see herds of elephants, giraffes, zebra's, ... and lions !
Let's see how some Year 9 students experienced the expedition :
"It was really fun to meet the people in Tanzania as well as to help them. They own very little and can barely afford basic items such as clothes. The experience was amazing, especially when we saw Mount Kilimanjaro for the first time and on the safari, when we tried to find the animals. Although we had fun on the trip, the hard work and seeing how these people went to school and how they lived really was challenging. Overall I would really love to come back to see Tanzania and to help more as I feel like I did a lot for the community."(Tom Hayes)
"The Tanzania Expedition was one never to forget. The impact we had on the communities was immediate and drastic. The goat sheds we installed will have a long term effect that will provide dairy and money. The solar lights bring a new source of energy to the locals that allows them to continue their studies later into the night. Finally the work done at the school in Nazareti contributed toward the building of classrooms as well as a new kitchen. Overall, I feel the fundraising done by our school (over 100,000 RMB) was put towards an extremely important cause. However it wasn't all hard work, the safari was an incredible experience for the whole expedition team. Sleeping in tents within the national park and gazing upon the stars only added to an extraordinary safari."(Arush Garg)
"All in all the trip was a really eye opening experience for everyone. When you learn about things like poverty in school you don't really fully understand the drastic conditions that some people live in, coming to Tanzania and being able to see the world, to interact with people, to see the difference you're making in someone's life is an incredible experience that you could never even imagine. It was physically and emotionally challenging for us all but everyone powered through, the reactions of local people were worth all the sprained ankles, blistered fingers and bruised arms. Overall it was a beautiful experience and I believe that any one of us would eagerly come back if we got the chance."(Pina Jurisic)
"Following the months of fundraising, everyone in the group was extremely excited to finally leave. When we arrived, we all tried very hard to complete our project work to make a huge difference. The goat sheds we built will provide a source of revenue for the families and will help them to improve their lives. The classrooms will increase capacity at the school we are working with, allowing many more children to receive the education that they deserve. It was really special to see the progress that we made, changing people's lives and allowing them more opportunities to thrive. At the end of the week we went on safari, where we learnt lots about the local wildlife as well as having lots of fun!"(Thomas Roberts)
Kris van der Mynsbrugge, Tanzania Expedition Trip Organizer