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North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub

Students prepare for an African adventure


Oct 22, 2016

Two weeks without some of life’s most basic amenities wouldn’t be most people’s idea of a dream holiday.

But it’ll be no sweat for Childcare student, Amy Oliver, who says she couldn’t think of anything more exciting than testing her mettle and heading out to the desert plains of South-West Africa.

The 17-year- old is one of ten students and staff from Stockton Riverside College jetting off to work with underprivileged children in Namibia.

Once there they will help carry out renovation work at the Abraham Gariseb School, the region’s only school for 400 miles, before spending three days on patrol monitoring the wild elephants.

“I can’t wait,” said Amy, who has spent months fundraising to help cover the cost of the epic adventure, along with her fellow students. “As soon as I heard about the trip I knew it was something that I wanted to do. It is one of those once in a lifetime opportunities.”

From climbing Roseberry Topping in fancy dress (three times!) to bag packs, rowing the River Tees and a week wearing onesies, the students have thrown themselves into every challenge.

But that has been nothing compared to what lies ahead for the group who will be faced with leaving behind home comforts such as running water, electricity, mobile phones and internet access.

Childcare and Education Lecturer, Liz Maddison, who has made the trip twice before herself, said: “Nothing can prepare the students for what is ahead, but I know it will be an amazing and life changing experience.”

The trip will be the second Namibian adventure embarked on by Stockton Riverside College Childcare, Supporting Teaching and Learning, Early Years and Education students, led by tutor Liz.

Working with charity, Elephant Human Relations Aid (EHRA), the group will be doing their bit to help communities live in harmony with the elephants.


Embarking on the trip for the first time, Course Leader for Early Years and trip organiser, Jackie Robbins, said: “With the fundraising and the planning the students have already learnt so much.

“Everyone has worked so hard to make this happen, I am sure this will be an experience that will stay with us all for the rest of our lives.”

Amy added: “I am excited and a little nervous. It is an opportunity that you wouldn’t normally get.”

As for being without her home comforts, she said: “It will be a challenge but we’ll know that it is only for two weeks and there are so many people that are far less fortunate than us.”

By Emily