A group of big-hearted college students have been giving back on a life-changing volunteering trip to Africa.
The student volunteers, all studying with The Cornwall College Group (TCCG), visited the town of Rongai in Kenya as part of the College’s Volunteer Kenya project.
Volunteer Kenya was established in 2009 by Lauren and Ross Sundercombe to help provide better educational facilities and resources to some of Kenya’s most disadvantaged children and deprived communities.
Every year, with the support of individuals and businesses, students and college staff visit Kenya for a fortnight to undertake volunteer work which helps the Rongai community in enterprise, education, childcare, health and sporting activities.
Project Lead Lauren, said this year’s trip was “another fantastic success”.
“Ross and myself, alongside Cornwall College, could not be prouder of what the team achieved this year,” she continued.
“All of the students were dedicated, hardworking and full of energy and determination to achieve their goals. They have exceeded themselves and got stuck into life in Rongai, making a lasting, positive impact on the local village.”
Since its beginnings, the Volunteer Kenya project has benefited from the generous support of Fluid Branding and this year, Managing Director Miles Lovegrove joined the team on the trip.
Miles said: “What an amazing few weeks of charity work and sightseeing in Kenya! It has been a humbling experience and one I will never forget. Thanks to everyone who pledged or donated money over the last few months, it will go a very long way to creating a more sustainable future for the schools and children of Rongai who desperately need our help. Thank you!”
After flying out from London, the students landed in Nairobi and travelled on to a volunteer compound in Rongai. From then on, it was a busy schedule of volunteering tasks across a wide range of projects, including creating a painted educational mural and sensory playground for the local school, helping out at the local nursery and handing out donations to the community.
For 17-year-old student Christiana Dean, who is currently studying A-levels at Cornwall College St Austell, it was an experience she’ll never forget.
“After two and a half weeks in Kenya, I’ve completely fallen in love with the country, culture and the people I was lucky enough to work with and meet,” she said.
“They’re all filled with positivity and happiness and were so welcoming to our entire team.
“We all worked hard, especially on the sensory playground, and it really paid off. It was so lovely to see the kids using it and enjoying it. I’m so happy I went, and I already know the memories I’ve made will stick with me forever.” Christiana continued.
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 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.
Seventeen year old A-level student Paige Bennetts is “so proud of every single person in the team” for achieving the goals they set for themselves.
Paige said: “After two and a half weeks away volunteering in Kenya, I can honestly say it has been the best experience of my life! I have met some of the loveliest and kindest people, and made friendships that will last a lifetime.”
The Volunteer Kenya trip is open to all students studying with the Cornwall College Group. If you are interested in finding out more about the next trip, please get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org