Volunteers make a difference

A team of student volunteers spent a week of their summer break helping to improve facilities and teaching resources at a primary school in Kenya.

WEB-Barton-Peveril-students-Connor-Gale_Aliyah-Turnbull_Rachel-Penfold-with-children-at-Hadassah-Mission-SchoolThe visit to Hadassah Mission School in the slum area of Nakuru saw a dozen students and staff immerse themselves in African culture as they witnessed the realities of life for families surviving on as little as 60p per day.

Without the school many children would lack nutritious meals and a formal education. Despite the Kenyan government’s pledges, contributions for uniforms, books, stationery and desks are desperately needed; help that is beyond the means of most local communities.

As well as working alongside teachers and sharing new ideas for lessons with the school’s 238 pupils, the volunteers assisted with the construction of new classrooms necessary for Hadassah to be able to run its own exams. Attaining this status will enable precious funding absorbed by sending students to other centres to be spent on resources for the whole school.

Tom Waugh, Projects and Foundation Co-ordinator at partner charity African Adventures, praised the dedication and maturity of all the Barton Peveril students who have visited Nakuru over the past four years.

He said: “The students have had an incredible volunteering experience and made a profound impact at Hadassah, the benefits of which will be felt for many years to come.

“Having classroom support can be a great help to teachers in Kenya who are often paid very little and do not have the resources we have in the UK.

“The Kenyan students benefit from being exposed to new teaching methods and are even more motivated to attend school when there are volunteers present.”

Barton Peveril students stage cake sales and other fundraising activities throughout the year to enable future visits to Africa and often continue supporting projects they have worked on once back in the UK.