Adventure to Africa to build a lasting link

Teenagers from Dame Allan’s Schools in Newcastle are to travel to Africa where they will carry out relief work

teenagers from Dame Allan’s Schools in Newcastle
Teenagers from Dame Allan’s Schools in Newcastle who are travelling to Botswana

These students are set for a trip of a lifetime to Botswana to help build a kindergarten.

The teenagers from Dame Allan’s Schools in Newcastle will also stay in traditional village huts.

To help prepare for the trip, they were given the task of creating a giant human chess board as part of their final checks for their World Challenge expedition.

Phil Wildsmith, expedition leader and head of the boys’ school, said: “The trip to Botswana is a fantastic opportunity for the kids to learn a lot about themselves and to develop their leadership and team building skills.

“The chessboard exercise was a way to prepare them for this trip. I made sure that nobody was pinpointed as a leader so each child was left up to their own devices – which is what it will be like when they are in Botswana.

“Then, they had to build the chessboard from scratch, before arranging themselves like sudoku, so nobody could be in the same vertical, horizontal or diagonal line. It was tricky but good fun.”

The students will be flying to Africa today and will spend time in Livingstone before travelling to Botswana where they will experience village life.

Next, they will move on to Namibia where they will trek over the Waterberg Plateau, explore the Okavanga Delta in dugout canoes and carry out relief work and help build a kindergarten.

Dame Allan’s Schools have been taking part in the World Challenge for a number of years and some former students have been so inspired they have even set up their own charities. However this year’s visit is set to be particularly interesting as the school’s chaplain, the Reverend Canon Darby, who has served in Botswana as a vicar, will be travelling to the country at the same time.

Mr Darby will meet the students in Botswana’s capital Gabarone with Bishop Martin for the consecration of Botswana’s new bishop.

And the school are hoping that with his help, they will build a lasting link with the people they meet there.

“Hopefully some of the children from Botswana will come to visit us at the school next year,” added Mr Wildsmith.

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