During the Summer, Woodham Academy students embarked on a World Challenge expedition to Tanzania. The trip was a once in a lifetime experience and students relished every opportunity, embracing the adventure. The expedition was part of an 18-month project, where students continuously worked hard to raise funds. We are extremely grateful for the support from the local community and Lions Rotary Club for their donation, helping to make this trip possible.
The first part of the expedition was a visit to Zanzibar, where students visited Prison Island, encountered a tortoise colony, and went snorkelling. Staying with a local family they immersed themselves in local culture, gaining a real insight into their day to day lives. Students learnt Swahili, had cooking lessons with limited resources, and explored their surroundings. Part of the challenge in Zanzibar was to participate in a community project helping with construction and to educate children in a local school. Here they learnt how to mix cement, plaster and skim walls making a huge contribution to improving the educational facilities in the local school. Students also had the opportunity to interact with children and develop their English language. Woodham students persistently modelled the schools core values: being kind and working hard. They gave local children chalk and pens and they were thrilled to receive these gifts, it really put into perspective how lucky they are and was an experience Woodham students will never forget.
Students then had the opportunity to visit a small mountain town, Mikumi, where they did a safari game drive. The entire day had students in awe at what they saw. Within 20 minutes of being in the national park, students saw an entire pride of lions and an extremely rare lion hunt which was simply spectacular. They also saw several families of elephants, crocodiles, hippos, zebras, and giraffes. This was an incredibly special day and one the students will never forget.
Woodham students also embarked on the challenge of remote camping in the breathtaking Uruguru mountains. Local guides helped them navigate through difficult terrain, visiting beautiful scenery: waterfalls, plunge pools, mudslides and introducing them to several mountain villages, who welcomed them into their community. The guides also taught African dances, basket weaving and sang songs around the campfire creating a fantastic atmosphere.
Throughout the trip, students took the time to remember former student Ted Sanderson, who was due to join them on this World Challenge trip. They had Ted T-shirts made for the expedition and against the backdrop of Morogo mountains, students shared their favourite memories of Ted and discussed what they thought he would have enjoyed the most.
As a school, Woodham Academy persistently provides students with a range of cultural opportunities to enhance experiences outside the classroom, explore other communities and challenge students beyond their comfort zones. This is a vital component in helping students to become the best versions of themselves. Miss Aitken and Miss Thomas are so unbelievably proud of Team Tanzania who overcame challenges collectively and individually, embracing every opportunity. We really hope the trip is something that stays with the students for rest of their lives and ignites a passion to see a world beyond their horizons.