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Year 12 students visit Kenya

Published on 12/09/23

A group of 11 Stephen Perse Year 12 students were selected, following application, to take part in our inaugural school trip to Kenya to visit the charity for which the school has been raising money: Nakuru Children’s Project.

The trip was a great success on all fronts. Our pupils enjoyed the opportunity to broaden their cultural horizons, staying in a homestay with a Kenyan family for the majority of the trip. Here they enjoyed home-cooked Kenyan food and getting to know the family through cooking together, learning Kenyan card games, dancing to Kenyan music and hosting a gathering of a local widow’s group which had been set up recently by our host, Grace.

During their time there, the students spent a number of days visiting a local school from which the charity’s feeding program is run: Nyathuna Primary School. The students helped in the kitchen and served food for a selection of the local students benefiting from the feeding programme. The students spent some time assisting the local teachers in lessons, and also provided some English language assistance where necessary. There was a great deal of excitement during break times and sports lessons, when our students got involved in playing sports and learning new games. The highlight was when the local church came to speak to the students and held a dance contest between our students and the local students. The pupils appreciated the opportunity to see first-hand the excellent work that the charity was doing, and were particularly touched when they met some of the families for whom the feeding programme had been particularly beneficial.

Our pupils were also afforded the opportunity to go on a number of excursions, both in the local area and further afield. These involved visits to waterfalls, volcanoes, animal sanctuaries, geothermal pools, the equator and hippo viewing at dusk.

The trip concluded with some animal spotting on safari in the Maasai Mara, where the students were very lucky to see all of the big five. They stayed in an indigenous community-run camp, enjoying some local Maasai stories while watching the sun set over the teeming plains of the Mara.

Year 12 student Christopher W said: “The trip really meant a lot to me because I got to see a completely different part of the world. I've lived in big cities my entire life and one thing I've noticed is that they smile a lot more than we do. Even the smallest thing like receiving a new football as a gift, can make them grin from ear to ear. They may not be as well off as we are, yet they are grateful for everything they have. This is something that I think we should learn from them.”

Year 12 student Chang L said: “We spent the better part of a week helping at the school where we taught lessons, helped paint, and assisted in serving food. It was clear from the first day at the school that our visit would not be for nothing. Upon first entering the classrooms to begin teaching it was clear that these children have a uniquely diligent and enthusiastic attitude to learning. Any type of lesson on any topic was thoroughly welcomed as the children would stare, intensely focus on the board and the subject taught. It’s clear that the children loved having visitors (we were some of the first foreigners a few of them had ever seen due to the pandemic). They had such wonderful interactions with us and were very welcoming. Of course we also loved being there, the memories, experiences, and the loving atmosphere of Nyathuna Primary School is unmatched by any other. Going to Kenya to see the children and experience the joy of that beautiful country is something everyone should have the pleasure of doing.”

Year 12 student Audrey S said: “The Kenya trip was an incredibly enjoyable experience! Exploring new destinations, experiencing cultures and building connections with one another made it deeply meaningful and unforgettable. That said, there have been many priceless moments that I will treasure forever - particularly with the children at school who have such an uplifting spirit!”

Year 12 student Sebastian said: “For me, the most important theme of the trip was one of connection. Be it engaging with the school children, the companionship between us students, or the close contact with the stunning Kenyan environment, these connections are what made the trip valuable to me.”

Stephen Perse Sixth Form Open Evening – 12 October. Click here and book your place.