A determined group of students have just entered their second year of fundraising for a trip to Africa where they hope to help communities who are far less privileged than they are.
The team of nine 14 and 15-year-olds from Crofton School in Stubbington are still several thousands of pounds short for a life-changing World Challenge trip to Southern Tanzania next July, costing £3,300 each.
Since setting their hearts on the expedition a year ago, they have not stopped trying to raise money – with activities ranging from car boot sales to bag-packing in local supermarkets.
Lewis Jenkins, 15, who is still £2,100 short is planning a parachute jump as soon as he turns 16 next April.
He says: ‘I’m hoping the jump will help me get to my target amount. We are all so excited about this trip and we’re doing our best to get there.
‘It will not only open up our eyes to a completely different culture and environment, but it will give us the chance to do something positive.
‘The plan is to work for a local school as we’d love to help in the classroom and organise fun sports events. It would be a privilege to have that opportunity.’
Laura Nash, 15, has already raised £2,000 but admits the pressure is on to get the rest of the money in time.
She says: ‘I’ve always wanted to go out to Africa and help disadvantaged children so I’m quite nervous as I’d hate to miss out.
‘It will be very different to anything we’ve ever seen in our lives. The wildlife, the landscapes, the people – it’s going to be a life-changing experience for all of us.’
The three-week trip has been developed to teach life skills and expand minds outside the classroom.
Vicki Burr, head of English, who will be accompanying the group, says: ‘I have been really impressed by the students’ relentless enthusiasm for fundraising and their clear ideas about what they want to achieve – living and working with a community different to their own and making a positive contribution.’
Anyone wishing to support the team should make a cheque payable to Crofton School, World Challenge Team.
The school is also appealing for pens, pencils, unused exercise books and light-weight sports equipment like deflated footballs.