A Northwood school has expressed its pride in students that raised thousands of pounds for a Ugandan village before going there to build new facilities for its struggling community.
Year 12 students at St Helen’s School for girls raised £13,000 for a school in small village, Mitete, before travelling there over the summer to help local labourers make improvements. The girls laid floors and painted walls, doors and windows.
The money predominantly went towards the sinking of a borehole to provide fresh water for the school and villagers, a new classroom block and two solar panels.
The small fee the school charges villagers for use of the borehole will provide much-needed revenue for the school as well as a source of funds for inevitable future repairs.
The girls also delighted the staff by purchasing school desks so that every child now has a seating area despite the classes consisting of about 50 children.
The solar panels brought electricity to the school for the first time; with a light in every classroom and security lighting outside, the school will now be able to offer night classes for those children having to work during the day.
Despite the difficult manual labour, the girls worked with good humour and camaraderie, sharing songs with the school children, staff and labourers at every opportunity, and even presenting their own handmade songbook to the staff on their departure.
The second phase of the trip involved trekking in the Rwenzori Mountains and this challenged the students’ levels of endurance, both physically and mentally.
The school said that, individually and collectively, the girls were exceptional.
The headmistress commented that they willingly opened their hearts to the children of her school, many of whom have been orphaned as a result of the aids epidemic, and despite the language barrier, enjoyed many individual moments of connection through gesture and laughter.