cas service trips
INDIA 2018 Twenty Lower Sixth Form students travelled to Jhamtse Gatsal Childrenâ€™s Community in the Arunachal Pradesh region of India high up in the Himalayas bordering Bhutan. During their stay they worked on a construction site preparing materials for a new accommodation building for the children as well as helping to construct a perimeter wall to increase security around the property. In addition, the Fettes team collaborated with Jhamtse staff and students to design and paint educational murals in the classrooms. Fettes students also had the opportunity to shadow students in lessons, observe their house system and talk with Lobsang the founder of Jhamtse and a former Buddhist monk.
â€œJhamtse Gatsal is a truly special place and it was a real privilege to witness the work they do and contribute to the future of the community. Lobsang has created a society that values love and compassion above all else. It is a home as well as a school where everyone cares for each other and each child is a valued member of an extended family.â€?
MADAGASCAR 2017 Twelve Lower Sixth Form students and three staff travelled to Madagascar to volunteer with the charity SEED Madagascar an award-winning British registered charity that aims to enhance the capacity of individuals, communities, organisations and governmental bodies in fulfilling sustainable development and conservation goals in southeast Madagascar. During the twenty-day expedition the team split their time between working on a construction site to help build a new high school building in Manambaro, a rural village overlooking the mountains. They also helped with conservation surveys in the coastal forests near St Luce. The construction work in Manambaro involved digging foundations for the school building and learning a number of skills including mixing cement, brick laying and making rebar by cutting, bending and binding steel bars together with wire. Other trip highlights included visiting Nahampoana Reserve, home to many species of lemur including the dancing Sifaka lemur, drumming lessons at the beach and trekking through steep, leechinfested forests to the cascades near Fort Dauphin.
â€œBoth staff and students were struck by the extraordinary kindness and generosity of the Madagascan people, our local guides, the builders on the construction site and our hosts at SEED.â€?
KENYA 2017 Sixteen Lower Sixth Form students travelled to Rongai in western Kenya to volunteer with the Vanessa Grant Trust, a charity that brings educational opportunities to children and young adults in rural Kenya. The thirteen-day expedition began in Nairobi and through the Rift Valley to Gogar Farm which they made their base for the volunteering phase of the trip. Gogar Primary School is situated a short distance away in the town of Rongai and the Fettes team began establishing themselves in this community by constructing paths to connect the school buildings and decorating the interior of classrooms with educational murals under the guidance of local builders and the head teacher.
“Throughout the expedition the emphasis was on student-led learning and as such two students were selected each day to lead the group. The students decided the structure of the day, roles within the group, the aims and objectives and reviewed their progress daily. The team’s attitude towards volunteering was responsible and heartfelt and they quickly developed a huge amount of respect for the school community.”
NEPAL 2016 Twenty Five Lower Sixth Form students travelled to Nepal for an 18 day expedition with PoD Expeditions. The team flew to Pokhara which became the base for the majority of the trip. During their time here, the team worked to help renovate school buildings, paint walls and educational murals in Shree Janachetana Primary school in Bhalam Village and Shree Shukla Gandaki Higher Secondary school in Ghachowk Kaski Village under the guidance of Prem, founder of the Nepalese charity KarmaFlights. After the volunteering phase the team travelled into the Annapurna Mountains, an area of the Himalayas in north-central Nepal to embark on a four-day trek up Poon Hill and also spent two days rafting on the Trisuli River with GRG Adventures.
â€œDuring the Kalabam Village homestay, students sampled local food, learnt traditional techniques of churning butter, grinding millet flour and making rice wine, helped to plant rice, visited local temples and were taught traditional Nepalese dances. This experience was hugely beneficial and helped us to understand the culture and traditions of the Nepalese people better, and we were reluctant to leave when the time came.â€?