Aldenham School, Founded 1597

Aldenham staff and pupils volunteer in Malawi 2017

Founded by OA Geoff Furber and his wife Liz, Ripple Africa is an important charity which has been supported by the School for the last eight years with over 100 students and staff travelling to Malawi and Zambia for three weeks each summer to work in collaboration on a number of environmental, construction, conservation and educational projects. The majority of their time is spent volunteering for Ripple Africa.

This summer, 15 students raised over £1000 each prior to departure to continue the work of this fantastic charity. Whilst in Malawi they were engaged in a wide range of activities, from visiting the fish conservation project to teaching lessons to classes of 60 in a secondary school, from digging the foundations for a new set of classrooms to creating resources for the large class sizes. The group were also welcomed into the local community as they attended and performed at a local Church service, were visited by local choirs and played (and won!) a football match against men from the village. One of the most insightful mornings was spent with a local family, where pupils visited a secondary school pupil's home and helped them with their morning chores before walking to school. Aldenham students also participated in two lessons before sitting two Malawian exams. Another highlight for the girls was a talk given to a group of women to promote feminine hygiene products. This was a new project for Ripple Africa and one that the students were keen to continue to support.

After working hard for the charity for 12 days the students were allowed a few days of rest and relaxation before returning to the UK, and this took the form of a three day safari at South Luangwa National Park. They were lucky enough to see lions, hyena and even a leopard eating an impala.

Overall it was a fantastically fulfilling experience for all of the staff and students involved, frequently described by many as one of the highlights of their time at the School.

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