Intrepid students spend summer before graduation volunteering in Africa

August 2018

Two former UCB students have returned from an African adventure that involved them volunteering at an orphanage and teaching at a school.

Jack Gameson and Shannan Howell will graduate next month, Jack with a BA (Hons) in Culinary Arts Management and Shannan with a BA (Hons) in Sport and Fitness Studies. After finishing their studies, they spent four weeks helping the local community of Arusha in Tanzania.

Jack said the first week was spent in the orphanage, where they helped the staff with jobs and teaching.

“Most of the children had either been abandoned at birth due to families not being able to provide for them or because their parents had sadly passed away from HIV and other terminal diseases," he said. "We found out that out of the children in the orphanage, just under 40 were living with HIV.

“While at the orphanage, we conducted daily chores around the dormitories, assisted in feeding the children as well as providing basic levels of teaching to provide a glimmer of hope for the children's futures.”

The intrepid travellers then helped at a local primary school for the other three weeks of their stay, helping to teach 35 young children.

Jack added: “These lessons consisted of alphabets, phonics, counting, addition, science etc. The children at this school had very few materials and we discovered families paid 15,000 shillings (£5) per month for education. Most families struggle to find this so Shannan and I made the decision to sponsor three-year-old Alice, who demonstrated high levels of aptitude and ability.

“The experience was truly amazing and we are extremely grateful. It is quite hard to sum this up so we produced a video capturing the experience which helps illustrate the impact we made.”

During his time at UCB, Jack made two visits to India and in November, he will be part of the National English Junior Team taking part in the Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg.

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