Over the weekend of 19th October, a group of seven senior girls, along with Mrs Rimmer, Mr Warner and Mr Warren, tackled a training weekend in Hexham, Northumbria in preparation for their World Challenge Expedition scheduled for July 2016.
The month-long expedition provides students with an opportunity to visit part of the developing world, make a valuable contribution to a local community and experience a different culture and way of life.
Here students can expect to face many challenges as they help with various construction projects for the school and tackle a six day trek up the magnificent Mount Mulanje, the tallest mountain range in central and eastern Africa, which scales over 3000 metres.
‘Travelling abroad is not just about observing a different way of life; what we find incredibly rewarding about taking pupils to the developing world for a month is seeing how they tackle the many challenges they face which helps them to develop confidence and responsibility’ said Mrs Rimmer.
During the expedition, pupils are fully responsible for cooking, planning journeys, managing a large budget and staying healthy in regions that are, to an extent, alien to them.
The team therefore spent the weekend learning about camp craft and survival skills, with each member of the group learning how to plan and take it in turns to lead the group.
With safety, security awareness and team collaboration all key elements to their training, members also learned how to deal with any emergency or unplanned event from lost or injured team members, to stolen equipment or river crossings.
Sixth Form student Hadeel Habeeb thought the weekend proved to be very educational: ‘we learnt so many skills that we are going to need on the trip and picked up so many useful tips that we would not have thought of; like how to purify our water. Just little things that we did not realise we would need to know about how to really look after our health’.
The group also discussed many cultural issues and the Malawian way of life, before enjoying a traditional supper of nsima (pronounced en-see-ma), a tomato and bean relish, which is the staple food of Malawi.
Despite the distance covered with heavy rucksacks, which tested everyone’s endurance and fitness, the group agreed it had been a rewarding few days.
The group will now focus on fundraising activities to ensure they can fully cover their expedition costs. As such, they be running a number of events over the following months and would appreciate the support of parents and pupils.
If there are any parents who are willing to donate raffle prizes or any items that could be used to raise money, or are happy to offer their time to help organise events – please contact [email protected]
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