This summer 4 of our students took a trip of a lifetime to Borneo, volunteering with Camps International. This trip was the result of various fundraising efforts over the last two years; car washing, bag packing in shops and organising fundraising events outside of school, to name but a few.
One of the most significant parts of the students’ trip was the volunteering work they undertook helping various communities with efforts to improve their quality of life and helping with environmental causes. In several villages our students were part of bigger efforts; they learnt, amongst other things, how to mix concrete for driveways, build drainage systems to prevent stagnant water and mosquitoes, build brick walls and plaster them.
A short stay in the jungle gave our students the opportunity to spend a few nights in hammock, showering with river water and planting trees to help the effort to reverse the effects of deforestation in the country. It was not all work though, as there were river cruises and night walks to try and seek out some of Borneo’s famous creatures – crocodiles, macaques and proboscis monkeys. Whilst they were not lucky enough to see an orangutan in the wild, at Sepilok sanctuary students were able to see lots of them, hanging around and sunbathing; everyone was amazed at how human they look and act.
One of the highlights for many of the students was the week spent at Mamutik Island, where most students undertook a 5 day PADI scuba diving course. The week was intense, with many skills tests, theory sessions and practice dives, but they persisted and overcame their fears and resulting in them becoming PADI qualified divers! Other activities on the island included an emergency first aider course and work on marine conservation and clean up.
The students had the opportunity to develop many skills on their month away, and grew in confidence with each passing day, having fun and making a difference. It is a trip they will remember for a lifetime, and the new friends they made will no doubt be friends for life.