Students from Nechako Valley Secondary School (NVSS) have returned from a long-planned trip to Kenya late last month after helping to build a school foundation and touring the Narok region of Kenya.
The trip, for which NVSS students and faculty had been fundraising for over a year, was a collaborative effort between the NVSS students and faculty, EF Educational Tours and the Me to We program two organizations that sponsor educational, environmental and cultural experiences and education.
Anna Pye, an educator at NVSS along with Chris Lupton, travelled with six NVSS students to Kenya where they were joined by another group of students from a Winnipeg based school. The two groups stayed together during their trip, living in a tented community in the Maasai Mara (a large Kenyan game reserve) region of Kenya.
Students took part in a ground breaking ceremony for a newly opened high school in the region in addition to their help building an additional school house.
During their experience students were privileged enough to be partnered with a Maasai Warrior who offered to teach them about Kenyan culture, gave lessons in Swahili (one of the native languages in the Great Lakes area of Africa) and took the groups on a safari tour through Maasai Mara game reserve.
During the evenings students and staff had a chance to do some personal reflection coordinated by Me to We facilitators.
“Students and staff reflected on the impact of education, health care and agriculture in Kenya as well as the ongoing water crisis in Africa and food security for rural areas,” said Pye.
In addition to their construction work, school groups were offered a chance to learn about some of the sustainable development initiatives that Free the Children, a charity that has worked in Africa for over a decade, has implemented in Kenya.
Student groups were lucky enough to visit the Baraka Health Clinin which provides medical care to the Maasai Mara, Kipsigis and Kisii regions which are some of the most vulnerable communities in Kenya.