Planning for our next World Challenge trip is well under way and congratulations go to "Team Blanch" (Ms Backstrom, Mrs Cassidy, Miss Haddley, Mr Nielsen, Mr Pollock and Dr Wainwright) who completed the Liverpool Half Marathon on 18 March 2012 raising funds for the trip next year.
EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME …....MALAWI 2010
It’s so difficult to sum up in a few words the entire account that the Sixth Form students from Archbishop Blanch School experienced during their month in Malawi during the summer holiday. After nearly 2 years of fund raising the departure day finally arrived - nothing could have prepared them completely….
The trip was physically, mentally and emotionally challenging. It opened the girls’ eyes and made them take a step back and re-assess what is actually important in life.
World Challenge assigned the students two projects; one being a ‘mini project’, which was carried out over 2 days. This was in the Ministry of Hope crisis Nursery in Lilongwe. The nursery is an orphanage for babies and toddlers that have been orphaned, quite often through HIV/AIDS. The group played with the babies and helped feed them etc throughout the day. The students also donated a lot of goods to the nursery for which they were very grateful, including the group’s mosquito nets when they were leaving Africa.
The second and main project the Archbishop Blanch School students took part in was up in Luwawa. There they helped renovate a maternity unit and build a toilet block. This was hard work, girls helped with cement mixing, bricklaying, carpentry, ripping out and painting. It was a fantastic achievement to see the fruition of their hard work and the locals were very pleased. The school name was added to the clinic sign and the toilet block.
They visited two local schools, one in Zomba and one in Luwawa. The children at the schools were very excited to receive visitors. In Zomba they sang and danced and the ABS girls gave an impromptu rendition of ‘Amazing Grace’ and got the children to join in the ‘Hokey Cokey’, which they found hilarious!
The last part of the trip involved trekking for 3 days, wild camping each night, up and down mountains, through forests and across rivers, until they reached Kande beach. The trip leader, Jane Backstrom, said “We have never been so pleased to see a tarmac road! Our girls were commended by the expedition guides for being excellent throughout the treks. This trek was physically and mentally demanding, but the sense of personal achievement afterwards was tremendous”
World Challenge - Namibia 2008
The trip leader Anna Horan gives a full report of this exciting venture.......
After a lot of hard work raising £3200 each, nine Year 12 girls departed for Namibia. We stayed in the capital of Windhohekfor for one night and then departed in our truck for our acclimatisation phase. We first went to the Spitzkoppe, which is well known for its pinnacles, and had our first night of camping. We then travelled on to Brandberg Mountain, which is the highest mountain in Namibia. We started an early morning trek to see the famous Bushman cave paintings, which were still very clear due to their excellent preservation site. The last of our acclimatisation destinations was the best. We went to have a look at the natural rock formations at Twfelfontein (dwindling fountain) and stayed at a campsite where the locals sang and danced and taught us some of their songs. From here we travelled to Opuwo to see the famous Himba tribes - an unforgettable experience. We met the chief (who asked me to choose two of the girls to leave behind to be his fourth and fifth wives!) and the women of the tribe who showed us many of their day to day jobs and customs.
Acclimatisation phase complete, we travelled onto our project phase in the North of the country. Here we spent ten days transforming the three falling down rooms of the school into a brand new looking building, with new concrete floors and walls. We painted each of the rooms in a different theme and painted the school's name and mission statement, along with the Namibian emblem onto the front of the school. We also painted the world, Africa and Namibia on the back of the building, and some children on the side expressing their views on education and also Aids. Along with this we also helped to build new toilets, buy and erect football goals, and build a new fence. The project was a real eye opener and the community were fantastic. On the final day we gave the school the many gifts we had brought with us and they in turn gave us hand made bowls. We were sad to be leaving after our ten day stay.
Project over, we travelled to Waterberg Plateau for our main trek phase. This involved walking for around 6 hours a day and camping in outdoor huts. We also had a lot of time to ourselves to explore the area. The plateau had some stunning views as it is 150m above the rest of the surrounding area.
With all the hard work done, we had a rest and relaxation period before travelling to Swakopmund. Here we experienced sand dune boarding and then travelled onto Etosha National Park for a safari experience. This was my favourite part and we were lucky enough to see a variety of animals, including elephants, rhinos, lions, cheetahs, zebras and different types of antelope.
We spent our last two days back in the capital, where we explored the many craft markets and had a fabulous meal in the famous Joe's restaurant. An excellent way to end a most excellent trip!