New challenges met head-on in Malaysia

Students from St John's College in Southsea on the World Challenge trip to Malaysia. They reached a mountain summit and planted a St John's flag
Students from St John's College in Southsea on the World Challenge trip to Malaysia. They reached a mountain summit and planted a St John's flag

From broken bones to new beginnings

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A group of students travelled thousands of miles to help children in Malaysia.

The group of Year 11, 12 and 13 students from St John’s College in Southsea made the trip to help build a new boarding school for children in Bentong.

The project, which is run by Grace Commission Community, aims to give disadvantaged children the skills to become future leaders of Malaysia through holistic home schooling.

The group of students also had to put their fitness levels to the test as they trekked through some of the world’s oldest jungle environments.

On one day they walked more than four miles in stifling heat and on another they reached an altitude of 2,060m above sea level.

They then had the opportunity to take to the water and experience the exhilaration of white water rafting.

The teams alternated in the second week, and then met up to relax and unwind in the Perhentian Islands for their final two days.

Andrew Tart, head of PE at St John’s, says: ‘During the second week of the expedition the group experienced new challenges.

‘I can proudly say that they met them head-on.’

One group trekked to the summit of the highest mountain in the Cameron Highlands and then proudly planted a St John’s flag at the top.

As well as helping to build the boarding school for the children of Bentong, the students also took some teddy bears and school equipment to hand out.

Nicola Maloy, head of the sixth form at the college, adds: ‘The trip to Malaysia was excellent and the challenges really tested the students’ leadership and teamworking skills.

‘It was great to see them working together to cover their costs for the trip and I think that, overall, they enjoyed eating, travelling and living on a very small budget.’

Each student had to raise £1,700 for the trip and over the past year they all worked hard to find the money in different ways.

Some worked part-time and saved money. Others held fundraising events, while some took part in school events to raise money.