Students become richer for seeing poorer side of life

FRIENDLY Harry Hick, 16, of Oaklands Catholic School, in class at St John's School in Korogocho, Kenya
FRIENDLY Harry Hick, 16, of Oaklands Catholic School, in class at St John's School in Korogocho, Kenya
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STUDENTS from a Hampshire School have returned from a life-changing trip to Kenya where they saw how sport is offering youngsters there a lifeline out of violence and poverty.

Jessica Park, Harry Hick, and Londwa Dlamini, all aged 16 and from Oaklands Catholic School in Waterlooville, have been involved in the school’s fundraising for CAFOD, which supports programmes in Kenya.

The students, joined by their RE teacher Mugeni Sumba, visited St John’s Sports Society in Korogocho, a slum town in the Kenyan capital Nairobi which houses a population the size of the city of Portsmouth in an area of less than a square mile.

The society offers young people a safe haven where they can take part in activities like netball, football, and boxing clubs.

The students also joined in with classes at the local St John’s School, helping some of the younger children with their work.

During their visit, Jessica, Harry and Londwa handed out awards to the society’s most promising students at the opening ceremony of a new gym and cultural centre.

Jessica said: ‘This trip has changed my life. It’s been absolutely shocking to see the conditions that people in Korogocho live in.

‘Some of their houses are smaller than my bathroom, and there are six, seven, sometimes even eight people living in that space. I feel proud that the money our school has raised is helping projects like St John’s.’

Harry said: ‘The atmosphere at St John’s is amazing; it’s so warm and friendly.

‘The people who live in Korogocho are absolutely committed to changing their lives, even in the face of adversity.

Londwa said: ‘The young people of St John’s Sport Society and School have given me so much strength, I am determined to continue to campaign and fundraise when I return home so that their lives may be better.’