Chichester College students volunteer in Kenya

Students and staff from Chichester College gave up two weeks of their summer once again to be part of an incredibly special experience in Kenya.

They returned to the Walk Centre Primary School, which is at the centre of a project that has been at the heart of the college’s fundraising activity over the past two years.

The college, in partnership with the African Adventures Foundation, raised more than £80,000 to build the school and provide quality education to thousands of children living in extreme poverty in Nakuru.

The first time the college has been back to the school since it opened in August 2017, it was an emotional experience for Lisa Humphries, director of student services and pastoral support at the Chichester College Group.

Lisa has spearheaded the fundraising campaign and was making her eighth visit to the area.

Lisa said: “It was amazing to return to the centre a year after we attended the opening.

“To see it in action, so many young children benefiting from the school and accessing the education they – like all children – should be able to have.

“It was very emotional. We’ve worked so hard and there’s still so much to do!”

The team of 30 volunteers worked hard over the fortnight.

They created an incredible library filled with bright and inspiring pictures and messages, started work on a building a new kitchen and renovated more classrooms, as well as spending time teaching and working with pupils at the school.

They also oversaw a sports day and found time to participate in some learning themselves, as they were taught Swahili and learned more about life in Kenya, the reality of which was brought home by a visit to the Hilton slum area, where many of the school’s children live.

Lisa added: “That was a particularly tough day for our volunteers.

“Many of the children live in and around the rubbish dump in the Hilton slums. To experience their reality is hard, but it drives home why we do what we do to support the Walk Centre.

“At Chichester College, our vision is to ‘change lives through learning’ and that really is happening in Nakuru. The school is making a huge difference to the local community there – without it, those children wouldn’t be able to get a decent education.”

The group were the latest volunteers to travel to Kenya. Since 2011 more than 400 students and members of staff have made the same journey.

The trip is entirely self-funded by the volunteers and they travelled with cases filled with donations for the centre, including clothes, shoes, toys and stationery.