Students at Derby Grammar School set off for Tanzania today as part of a fundraising project which has raised over £90,000 in six years.
The school launched the Tanzania fundraising project in 2013 with the aim of raising £50,000 by 2023 for Gedeli B School in Mwanza but students and staff have already raised £91,171.
The aim of the project, which has been shortlisted for a national award, is to supply Gedeli B School with educational resources, such as pens and paper and even classrooms, and students from Derby Grammar visit every year.
A number of organisations in the city, many of them Marketing Derby bondholders, have donated items or money towards this year’s trip.
Thirteen students are heading out to Tanzania for two weeks in July and the focus will be on building and furnishing an extra classroom at the school using the £9,717 that has been raised this year.
They will also visit an orphanage for children who attend the school and a home for babies who have been orphaned. Students will then climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa.
Vicky Charnock, Head of Upper School, and April Sly, Head of Primary School, organise the trip for the students.
Mrs Sly said: “Gedeli B School has become a flagship school in the area and it’s the little things that we’ve done that have made a big difference. Over the years we’ve helped to provide water, which has helped to reduce dysentery, and electricity, more classrooms and sanitary ware for the female pupils which has helped to reduce absence.
“The money we raised has already been sent to the school so by the time we get there the classroom should already be built and we will be painting the walls. The boys will also be teaching from 9.30am to 2pm each day.
“Our boys get so much out of the trip and it ties in so much with what we do in terms of trying to make them into caring and thoughtful citizens. They come back from Tanzania as very different people; it gives them a completely different perspective.”
Varchas Swamy, 17, said he was looking forward to the trip.
He said: “We’ve planned our lessons before we head out there and I’m just looking forward to going somewhere totally different. I think the trip to the orphanage will be quite difficult. I’m also looking forward to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro; I’ve been doing my Duke of Edinburgh award so that’s quite good practice.”
When the project was launched in 2013, Gedeli B School had 1,357 children in five classrooms – an average of 270 children per class – they had no water, electricity, text books, sports or educational equipment.
So far, Derby Grammar School has built four classrooms, installed electricity and running water, built toilet blocks, supplied classroom equipment and specific resources for children with special needs, provided sanitary items for older girls in the school, supplied every child with school books, pens and pencils and given the headteacher a laptop, printer and a photocopier.
Follow their trip for the next three weeks on the Tanzania blog