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CBNL sponsors local school exchange programme to Africa

CBNL sponsors local school exchange programme to Africa
We are proud to be sponsoring a college local to our UK HQ, Comberton Village College, with their annual African Exchange programme this year.

After a gruelling selection process, 12 students have been chosen to spend a few weeks at schools in South Africa and Mozambique, helping teach lessons and getting involved in school life.

Here is the first exert from their project diary. Watch out for more when they take their trip in a couple of month’s time…

Since 1997 Comberton Village College (CVC) has been involved in a cultural exchange with Edendale School, in South Africa.

The school was set-up under Apartheid to provide good quality education for black students.

On the school site, which is situated near Cullinan, in Gauteng province, there is a primary and secondary school, as well as an orphanage.

Three years ago CVC also gained a sports exchange partnership with Escola Secundaria Noroeste do 1, in Mozambique.

The school is a mixed gender government school with over 4000 students which has very limited resources. 12 Comberton students are selected each year – 6 for South Africa and 6 for Mozambique – to represent the school and offer their services as volunteers to the partner schools.

The idea of the trips is to give us an opportunity to witness at first hand a completely different culture, whilst helping out at schools which are less fortunate than ours.

During our stay we will not only lead lessons as teaching assistants and prepare and run a sports festival at the primary school, but we will also be there to help the children and teachers on a daily basis.

For instance, in South Africa, we will be helping out at the Orphanage on site, each afternoon.

We also hope to be able to experience some of the culture of these two countries with opportunities for sightseeing and exploring different locations nearby.

As both of these trips are completely different from any other trip we could go on at this age, places are hotly contested every year. We have to undergo a rigorous and fiercely competitive application and interview process, and if selected, have to raise around £2,500 each to take part.

We have to devise a lesson plan to give to a class of 10 year olds and present this as part of the interview process.

For this year’s exchanges, the selection process was last May.

The twelve of us were very excited to have been chosen and, nearly a year on, are now looking forward to finally going to South Africa and Mozambique, in early July after our GCSE exams.

After a day on a plane, we will arrive with lack of sleep, numb bums and a good intake of airplane food! We will then be ready to take on our challenge, meeting our fellow students at the schools and getting to know them and their country.

We will then be helping out in the schools, climaxing with a safari at Kruger National Park, with the Mozambique volunteers coming to join the South African volunteers for this last trip before we fly home.

After a gruelling 24-hour sponsored cycle in early December, which raised £1,500, there was a short lapse in group fund-raising, but we soon turned our eyes to the ‘Auction of Promises’ we had organised.

This was held in March, with more than 80 promises auctioned, ranging from balloon flights to a week’s holiday in Spain, with lots valued from £5 to £600.

After some fiercely contested bids, we raised the hefty amount of £3,400, which was a huge boost to everyone’s fundraising efforts.

Over the last few months, we’ve all been individually fundraising as well, ranging from cake-selling, to escaping from straight-jackets.

The fundraising has certainly caught the attention and tantalised the taste-buds of many people!

Finally, on behalf of all of us at Comberton taking part in these trips, we would like to say a huge thank you to CBNL for their extremely generous sponsorship. It has made a huge mountain easier to climb.

Watch this space for more news!

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