Pupils have been learning first hand about how their fundraising is helping improve lives in a Kenyan town.
Wycliffe Obura, a teacher from Arina Primary School in Ndhiwa, spent ten days at Longbenton Community College explaining how their donations have changed the lives of people in the town, giving children a chance of an education and a brighter future.
The college celebrated its diamond jubilee year with a black tie ball last Saturday to raise money for its partner school with Wycliffe special guest. More than £500 was raised for Team Kenya and £200 toward the Sixth Form trip to Kenya in October.
Since three teachers arrived back at Longbenton last April, £7,900 has been raised by pupils and staff for Team Kenya, helping sponsor young people through secondary school and provide funds for maize, solar lamps, stationary and uniforms.
Longbenton geography teacher Kat Davies said: “It is a great opportunity to have Wycliffe visit the college so the students can hear firsthand about how their fundraising is making a difference.
“We are currently studying Kenya in geography with Year 8, so his visit has helped them to understand the fundamental differences between their lives and ours.
“The pen pal scheme has gone from strength to strength and many pupils enjoy this link.”
Wycliffe said: “Everyone I have met has been very kind and I have learnt a lot about the way students are taught.
“I am very proud and pleased with how Longbenton have supported us at Arina.”
Many of the young people in Ndhiwa have been orphaned by Aids and there is very little electricity and running water.
Young girls are often made to leave school to marry or are forced into prostitution to provide money for their family and so simply giving them a bag of maize can be enough to allow them to continue their education.
Team Kenya was set up ten years ago by former geography teacher Val Wilson, from Wideopen, and recently was awarded the title of ‘Best Organisation’ by North Tyneside voluntary organisation VODA.
Together with a small group of dedicated volunteers Val works to support the community in Ndhiwa, through a range of social and educational projects with the aim of empowering the community to free themselves from poverty, injustice and inequality.
They also run volunteering holidays.
For more information on Team Kenya or to make a donation visit www.teamkenya.org.uk