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Chester teenagers spend the summer helping at schools in Swaziland

Sixteen students from Abbey Gate College took part in sports day, conservation project and kitchen building

A team of Chester teenagers took part in a month long expedition to Swaziland in Africa to help build a kitchen for Abbey Gate College’s partnered school Mdlidzini High.

The fundraising process was across an 18 month period where the group of 16 students from the Saighton school did various fundraising activities such as regular weekly tuck shops and bag packs at local supermarkets, a sponsored bike ride to cycle the circumference of Swaziland, a race night, many raffles, a beauty event at Debenhams in Chester and finally a “dress to impress” event at Gin Rickey’s in Chester (which raised a huge £16,000 in one night.)

With all these taken into account, the money they needed to raise was above £40,000 which included the price of purchasing paints and materials to help build the kitchen.

Mdlinzini Primary School and Mbita Primary school, the two feeder primary schools, requested educational murals to be painted to enhance the outlook of learning at the school, so students also spent time designing these boards, including the digestive system, reproductive system, water cycle and skeletal system.

Throughout their time at the project, they were given many opportunities to meet children from all three schools and to teach at the high school.

They were also given the difficult task of running and planning various maths lessons but also a life skills lesson that they ran themselves entitled ‘sex education’.

A Level results 2016: Abbey Gate College

Within two weeks, the kitchen was built and friendships were formed with school children and it was time for the regular sports days of both Mbita Primary and Mdlinzini High School.

Abbey Gate got involved in all sports ranging from 4x400m relays, netball and football matches.

They had an opening ceremony for the kitchen where all the parents, grandparents and children came with special guests including two members of parliament and the minister of education in Swaziland.

After this, the team moved on to the next part of their expedition which was a conservation project.

They were based at Mbuluzi Game Reserve and the team worked tirelessly for four days to help make bird boxes for the Ground Hornbill and also to put together bike parts to be made into fully working bikes that could be donated to the local schools to give local children a new and faster way of getting to and from school everyday.

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