Cornish businesses have been praised at an evening celebrating a life-changing volunteering trip to Africa.
Student volunteers from The Cornwall College Group (TCCG) gathered at the St Austell campus to relive their time in Rongai, Kenya.
The Cornwall College Group‘s Volunteer Kenya project was established in 2009 by Lauren and Ross Sundercombe to help provide better education facilities and resources to some of Kenya’s most disadvantaged children and deprived communities.
With the help of individuals and businesses, through hard work and dedicated support, the ongoing aim of the project is to develop the relationship between Cornwall College and Rongai.
Project Lead Lauren, said this year’s trip was “another fantastic success”.
“Myself and Ross, alongside Cornwall College, are very proud of what the team achieved this year,” she continued.
“I’d like to say a massive thank you to Imerys in St Austell for their generous donation of 12 laptops, Gloveman Supplies Limited in Redruth for anti-bac and wipes and to Fluid Branding for their continued support. We are also extremely grateful to Sure Flow ltd and Cornwall Zinc Roofing as they both made significant donations to our solar light project. We’re looking forward to another exciting and rewarding adventure in 2018.”
After flying out from London, the students landed in Nairobi and travelled on to a volunteer compound in Rongai near Nakuru. From then on, it was a busy schedule of volunteering tasks, including creating a painted educational mural for the local school. The students also managed to put in some time working at the local nursery St Michaels which Cornwall College played a part in building and raising funds for in 2011.
For 17-year old Health and Social Care student Connor Bolt, the opportunity to work in this special environment was eye opening. He said: “The Volunteer Kenya trip was sensational. For any person going, it really changes their mind and outlook on life. Whether you’re going for a personal reason or just really like the idea of helping people, it’s an amazing thing to do and I’d definitely recommend it anyone.”
In addition to all the hard work, the students also found some time to kick back and enjoy the incredible African culture up close, the highpoint of which was a visit to the The Maasai Mara National Reserve. The Mara is a large game reserve in Narok County and home to lions, leopards, cheetah and wildebeest; all of which the group were lucky enough to see up close on safari.
Eighteen-year-old Archie Connolly from St Austell said: “Without a doubt, I’d recommend the Volunteer Kenya trip to anyone. It was an incredible two weeks, an uplifting and inspiring experience to see how these people get on with their daily lives regardless of their situation. For me, it has been one of the best things I’ve been involved and the one that I’m most proud of.”
Archie continued: “Seeing the smiles on people’s faces for simple things, things that we would take for granted every day here, was very special. “
The next Volunteer Kenya trip will be taking place in June/July 2018 and is open to all students studying with TCCG. If you are interested in finding out more, please visit www.cornwall.ac.u/kenya or get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org