Two students at Derby Grammar School are set to pursue careers in medicine after a life-changing trip to Tanzania.

Arvin Suddhi, 17, of Derby, is hoping to work for Médecins Sans Frontières after studying Medicine at university.

Freya Lockley, 18, of Melbourne, had planned to study architecture but changed her mind after visiting Tanzania with school in 2018.

Derby Grammar School launched its Tanzania fundraising project in 2013 and every year students have visited Mwanza to support the local community there. The aim was to raise £50,000 by 2023 for Gedeli B School in Mwanza but students and staff raised £90,000 after just six years.

When the project, which was shortlisted for the Independent Schools Association Award for Outstanding International Contribution, was launched, 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.

With the £90,000 raised so far, Derby Grammar School has built five 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. Students from Derby Grammar School also visit every year.

Last year students taught lessons and improved classrooms. They also visited an orphanage for children who attend the school and a home for babies who have been orphaned. Students could also choose to either go on safari or climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa.

Arvin is studying Biology, Chemistry and Maths and will go on to study Medicine at the University of Birmingham after achieving two A*s and an A.

Arvin said: “I’ve always been interested in Science but I think it was the school trip to Tanzania that persuaded me. It was just a different way of life and I think medicine is all about helping people. I came across Medecins Sans Frontieres before I went to Tanzania so I already knew about it and I thought it would be perfect as I would like to travel. My dad is a pharmacist so he’s been really supportive.”

Freya achieved A*, B and C in Art, Biology and English Literature and will be studying Midwifery at university.

She said: “I think going to Tanzania made me realise that I would like to change lives and especially in Africa. Midwives are so important out there when you look at the infant mortality rate and how many mothers die during childbirth. It just gave me a whole new perspective. I just decided that I wanted my career to be more meaningful and I think this would suit my personality more.”