A TEAM of sixth formers and staff from Northwich are flying to Africa to help re-build a community that survived the 2004 tsunami tragedy.
Priority projects include the building of homes for impoverished local families at the village of Pondicherry in Tamil Nadu, South East India, 100 miles south of Chennai, formerly known as Madras.
The team of 15 students from St Nicholas Catholic High School depart tomorrow and will be working for charity Habitat for Humanity, part of a Christian housing group.
The charity has built 200,000 homes worldwide, helped to improve 3,000 communities and provided decent affordable housing for almost a million people. Now the Hartford school aims to build on those figures.
Fellow pupils have been encouraged to support the project, raising both funds and awareness of less fortunate communities around the world.
Student Charlotte Hilditch, who is helping organise the trip, says it is also transforming their own lives. She said: 'For me it is a life-changing experience, a chance for all of us to become more culturally aware.' Friend Elisabeth Kilcourse added: 'My church community were so interested and supportive in raising £500 towards the trip.'
And Vicky Watmough said: 'It has been great having the opportunity to use our initiative and come up with enterprising ideas knowing that the proceeds we make will benefit those who are less fortunate than ourselves.'
Teacher Don Firkins, who is helping to coordinate the trip, said: 'We set a target of raising about £1,500 a head, a total of £22,500 in total, in order to cover the cost of building materials and their own travel and living costs. This is real social enterprise in action and actually delivering the benefits.
'Much of the money has been raised through energetic fundraising activities in recent months, both in school and by the families. Some students even took additional part-time jobs to fund the project.'