Trip of a lifetime to African village

SIXTH form pupils at Aston Academy will leave the rain and grey skies behind today (Friday) as they jet off to Tanzania.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 13th July 2012, 5:23 pm

But for the 21 students it will not be a relaxing holiday full of sun, sea and sangria.

The youngsters are spending three weeks in Aston Academy’s link school - Makunduchi Secondary School on the exotic spice island of Zanzibar.

The trip follows 12 months of planning and £13,000 of fundraising.

It is the ninth student exchange between the two schools.

As in previous exchanges, the students will live together in a house provided for them by their hosts.

Andrew Hodgson, assistant headteacher at Aston Academy who co-ordinates the link, said the trip offers a life-changing experience for the pupils.

He said: “Tanzania is one of the world’s poorest countries and this exchange offers us a unique opportunity to experience a way of life that tourists cannot.”

“The students often find much in common with African teenagers, despite the huge differences in standard of living and culture.”

“It is, for many of our students, a life changing experience.”

The aim of the trip is to give students the chance to experience life in an African village and allow them to contribute to the education of Africa youngsters.

This visit coincides with the Islamic festival of Ramadhan and the school closes except for revision camp where students sitting national examinations come in to revise and actually sleep at their desks.

The focus of the pupils will then be to help with revision techniques.

Later in the year, eight Makunduchi students will spend three weeks living with host families and working in Aston Academy. They will travel over on 8th October.

During the October half-term the Aston pupil will take their visitors on a residential visit to North Yorkshire and attend a reception at the Tanzanian High Commission in London.

Their intention is to give their guests the same sort of rich and rewarding experience as they will receive in Zanzibar.