Calder High Year 13 Overseas Project 2016

Following a very successful volunteering project to Sri Lanka in the summer of 2015, a team of 12 Calder VI students and 3 staff members returned to Sri Lanka during the recent summer break.

The group spent a day travelling from Calder High School, Mytholmroyd, to Colombo, Sri Lanka where they were met by Projects Abroad volunteer co-ordinator, Helen Monaghan, who worked with the group for the duration of the two-week project.

The student volunteers worked in two kindergartens in deprived suburbs of Colombo; Sadae Kindergarten and Sri Sambuddhaloka. The mornings were spent working directly with the teaching staff and children at both pre-schools, teaching basic English, co-ordinating arts and crafts activities and engaging the children with songs, drama activities and games. In the afternoons, the volunteers were split into two teams either working on mural painting at Sadae or teaching English at Sri Sambuddhaloka to older children who were eager to learn as much English as they possibly could. During leisure time, the group were able to visit a turtle hatchery on the coast, Buddhist temples and experience whale watching on the North coast of the island.

In order for the project to take place, the Calder VI students had to raise a collective total of £27,000 whilst also working hard towards their A2 examinations. Fundraising included monthly sales of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, sponsored 24 hour Stay Awakes with students from lower school, a monthly car wash, fashion show, raffles, refreshments, bake sales, an abseil and a generous donation from Hebden Bridge Rotary Club.

Project Leader, Emma Hartley said “the experience the students gained on the project was both enjoyable and invaluable. I have been privileged to witness this on two projects so far with Calder VI students. Each of the young people taking part has been through their own personal journey and all said that they felt the projects have been life-changing experiences. I am delighted to be a part of the Overseas Project and hope to help make future projects the most positive experiences possible for the Calder VI volunteers ensuring we enrich the lives of the children and adults we work with each year”.

Calder VI has worked successfully alongside Projects Abroad since 2015 and will continue to do so with future projects planned for Vietnam in 2017 and Nepal in 2018. Projects Abroad is a reputable company, sending volunteers abroad since 1992. The company works in around 29 developing countries across the world and sends around 10,000 volunteers on projects each year. More information, including a case study from this year’s Calder VI project can be found online www.projects-abroad.co.uk.

If you would like to get involved in our fundraising or wish to make a donation to future projects, please contact Emma Hartley at Calder High School via email ehartley@calderhigh.calderdale.sch.uk.