Scouts and Guides help out in African village

Team photo of the young people inside the completed medical centre.
Team photo of the young people inside the completed medical centre.
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David Curwen, centre, hugs his mother with whom he wa sreunited. Completing the group is his brother Keith

THIS WEEK IN 1975: Reunited after 30 years – but only thanks to a kind stranger

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A group of Scouts and Guides from Hampshire travelled thousands of miles to help build a medical centre in a remote African village.

The 39 teenagers flew out to Itete in Tanzania to support the project of the African Space Trust.

Over the past year the Scouts and Guides, aged between 14 and 18, have been preparing for the trip, hosted by Hampshire Scouts.

They took part in training weekends which have included lessons in Swahili, specialised first aid and development work on campsites.

Dan Hickin, scout leader, says: ‘We did lots of painting and laying the courtyard flooring. It was the finishing touches to the building that had been built in the 18 months before.

‘The scouts and the guides that went absolutely loved it. It’s a once in a lifetime experience for most of them.

‘For me it was an eye opener. You see all these things on tv about different parts of Africa.

‘But unless you have been there and seen it, it doesn’t hit you how bad some of the areas are.’

He adds: ‘It’s a real culture shock. It makes you realise how much we have got. When we came to leave the village a lot of the kids got really emotional. They had got to know some of the kids really well.’

The Scouts and Guides had to raise £2,300 each towards the expedition costs and £500 for the community project in order to attend.