Trip to Kenya takes priority over proms

Holly Phillips and Lara Woodgate are bound for Nairobi to help slum children. (111480-2285)
Holly Phillips and Lara Woodgate are bound for Nairobi to help slum children. (111480-2285)
Picture: Shutterstock

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Two students are ditching their school prom to take up the chance to teach sports to children living in the slums of Kenya.

Holly Phillips and Lara Woodgate, of Oaklands Catholic School in Waterlooville, say they are looking forward to the trip from June 23 until July 1, which they won after a rigorous interview and application process.

They are among just four students from across the south east who will be flying out to Nairobi to meet young people living in dire poverty and experience life in rural villages.

Holly, 16, said: ‘It will be amazing to teach others about our experiences and how they too can help to make a difference.

‘After this trip I want to be more actively involved in raising awareness of global justice issues.’

Lara, 16, added: ‘Young people always seem to be depicted negatively in our society but I disagree and believe that all should have confidence in themselves to do their best and to help strive for a better future.’

The trip is run by Cafod (Catholic Agency for Overseas Development) and has been organised with a focus on ‘sport and development’ to mark the forthcoming London Olympics.

In the last year, Oaklands have raised more than £500 for Cafod.

Mugeni Sumba, RE teacher at Oaklands who will be accompanying the girls, is from Kenya originally.

He said: ‘I am so proud of Holly and Lara who have not only been incredibly committed to charity but have put their heart and soul into this trip.

‘When they realised it would clash with the school prom on June 28 they immediately returned their dresses, which was fantastic.’

He added: ‘The girls have a lot to offer their hosts, as Holly is a badminton coach and Lara plays netball and golf.

‘In the slums in Kenya, sport can literally be a lifesaver. It can allow people to earn a living when most are destitute and have nothing to do.’

The two other students travelling to Kenya have been selected from St Columba’s College in St Albans.