Report by Alfie Stanbury
Recipient of a YET Award
For my world challenge trip I went to Swaziland to help children orphaned by AIDS. The trip was split into 2 parts; the project phase and the trek phase.
Overall I think that the project phase of our trip went very well. When we got there we were told that we would be painting some of the classrooms in the local primary school as they were looking very old and decrepit with the paint peeling off. The first day went quite slowly as we didn’t have a great amount of coordination which lead to coats having to be painted over again because of dripping etc, but we still managed to get a classroom done down to the long hours we worked. That evening we had a group meeting in which we developed a plan and divided into groups so that we would work more efficiently. The next day we managed to paint a classroom 3 times the size because of our better coordination as well as playing football and games with the African children. The final day we went back down to the school and used up the remainder of our paint to paint the gatehouse and then measured out a garden to be planted by the next group of volunteers.
The next part of our trip was our trek phase which consisted of 4 day trekking with distances of 6k, 14k, 12k and 7k per day. I have quite a bit of experience trekking with family and scouts etc but this was definitely the hardest trek I’ve done because of the heavy packs we had (we had to carry our tents an food and other camping equipment amounting to around 15kg) and the up and down nature of the route. It was physically extremely trying but 100% worth it for the sense of achievement that I got once I had completed it.
Overall I found that this trip helped me to understand the need for organisation and order. It also helped me to take much less for granted as seeing what they had made me realise how lucky we are to be born in England.