Year 10 student Katie Yeomans spent her Easter holiday with the Emmanuel Stepping Stones charity in the Gambia, West Africa. This Devon charity is backed by local churches, and has established a project with a local community in Manjai Kunda. To raise money, Katie had a very drastic haircut, and the £450 she raised in sponsorship paid for the laying of a new concrete playground at the Glory Baptist Primary School, replacing gravel and stones so sharp they would cut your feet. As well as helping to lay concrete in temperatures as high as 43 degrees, Katie also painted the school’s toilet block, and helped the primary school children with Easter festivities. The partnership visit included going to a local museum showing traditional Gambian customs, trips to a crocodile pool and a local market, as well as some of the true delights of Africa such as eating oranges straight from the tree. Gambian Fried Chicken was a reminder of the influence of globalisation….
Although the project is organised and supported by a local charity, Katie is a Clyst Vale student and has demonstrated great global citizenship while benefiting hugely from the experience of going to Africa. I am reminded of the College’s friend, the late Arthur Jorden: his advice to every young person was to get the best education you can, and then travel.