Crowle pupils out in Africa having adventure of a lifetime
AGROUP of 14 intrepid adventurers are on an 8,000- mile trip to the African country of Lesotho.
Pupils, parents and staff from St Norbert's Catholic Voluntary Academy in Crowle first heard about the country after meeting a member of its royal family in 2011.
Prince Seeiso of Lesotho attended an event in Scunthorpe, held to raise money for under-privileged children in his country.
After meeting children from the Crowle school, they speculatively asked teachers if they could visit the small southern African nation.
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Now, after more than a year of fundraising, a handful of people are staying in Malealea in Lesotho to spend time with the locals.
Their 17-day journey began on Thursday, February 7.
Two of the pupils on the trip are Henry Walshe and Gabrielle Marshall, both in year six at St Norbert's.
Henry, 11, said: "It is something completely new. I was nervous but excited about it.
"I didn't know what to expect and the thing I am most looking forward to is seeing an elephant."
Gabrielle, 10, said: "Meeting the people and getting to know them is the best bit."
Pam Tonge, head teacher at St Norbert's, is one of those involved in the trip. She said: "We have been working for a number of years to get a better understanding of other cultures and know we will gain a lot from this trip.
"Our school has been working fantastically hard to help facilitate changes in Malealea. One of these is helping provide money for smokeless fuel-efficient stoves. So many people die of smoke inhalation in Africa and these stoves will make a huge difference.
"I have been to China before, but never thought I'd go anywhere like Lesotho. The children have been so excited because we have been talking about the trip for so long. I cannot believe it is finally happening.
"This is an excellent opportunity to broaden the school's horizons."
The group of 14 is made up of three pupils at the school, two members of staff, three parents, three governors, a chef, a doctor and an expedition leader.
Ken Dunn, expedition leader and founder of charity Africa's Gift, said: "It is a fantastic reward after two years of hard fundraising. The main objective of the trip is to develop the partnership between the two communities by learning and working together.
"At the school in Lesotho we are helping to bring water and plant a garden for vegetables and fruit."