A group of students from three local schools have returned from a trip to Tanzania. Ten students from Summerland were among those helping to build a new dormitory at the Camp Moses orphanage.
The students were in Africa for three weeks, staying at a base camp run by Volunteer Abroad.
Each student was responsible for the $5,000 cost of the trip.
The orphanage houses 110 children in total.
The need for a new dormitory was great, as four to six children were currently sleeping in one bed.
The new brick building was all constructed by hand. A “fundi” which is the equivalent of a contractor was hired to get the building to the roof ready stage.
The roof is expected to be put in place by locals for July when another group of students will be on hand to do the finishing touches, complete with beds and bedding, ready for the children to move in.
All of the costs involved have been raised through fundraising efforts of the students.
Alexa Brickenden, who had been there two years previously, expressed how good it was to reconnect with the babies.
“They remembered me when I didn’t think they would,” she said.
“It makes you think about what we call our essentials,” said Laura Kohan.
There, she said, the essentials are water, food, shoes and a place to sleep.
“It makes you think more carefully on how you spend money, because $100 can sponsor a kid over there to go to school,” said Joe Stead.
What impressed Ryan Varchol the most was “how cool it was that they had so little and yet were so happy.”
Greg Nixon said, “a lot of us will be going back eventually.”
Jane Stead, teacher chaperone on the trip said it was a culture shock for the students. She also hopes for a good turnout at the upcoming 11th annual Talent Show to be held April 30 and May 1.
There will also be raffle baskets and a concession at the event. African handicrafts were also brought back to be sold. All funds raised will go towards the completion of the project.
Tickets are available at the Beanery or at the Summerland Secondary School office.