CALDY students have been transforming African children’s lives since 2004 and next summer a group will visit again - this time as former students.
The 12 teenagers of Calday Grange Grammar School were so inspired by their sixth form trip to the Africa orphanage in Lanseria, South Africa, that they are going back for three weeks after completing their A Levels.
The group will pay for their own trip but want to raise a minimum of £2,500 to help with the project when they get out there.
So far, they have raised £1000 through holding school discos, sixth form parties, non-uniform days, bungee jumping and cake sales.
They will be revisiting orphaned and vulnerable children from the God Parent’s Project in Refilwe, north of Johannesburg, which groups children and adults together to make a family.
In 2007 there were 28 children but now there are 40 children in eight homes.
At 18, the children are helped to search for opportunities to ensure sustainable employment - they are often hired as workers on site or encouraged to use their skills in self employment.
The first year Calday Grange Grammar School visited they built a computer suite, the second year a children’s playground and last year they cleared the site of rubbish and weeds so that more building work could be done.
Next June a group of students will go out as normal but will be joined by the 12 former students as well.
Katie Evans, one of the 12, said: “After having such an amazing and life changing experience last year, we had to go back.
“A major part of what we do is become a friend to the children - when we are out there we are so important in their lives.
“They are living in such poor conditions, literally showering under a cold tap - even in the winter.
“The money we take with us will help feed the children, god parents and workers on the site.
“It will also be put toward the building work and buy essentials for the school.”
To donate or help in any way, call 07821757685.
For more information on the project, visit www.refilwe.org