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In 2013, Derby County Community Trust travelled to Kenya for their first volunteer trip with 13 volunteers. Fast-forward 10 years, and we’re celebrating their 10th anniversary, which took place this May! Over the years, the group has made a profound impact at our partner schools, and this year was no exception, with 81 volunteers joining them for the anniversary trip to volunteer at six of our partner schools.

Read on to hear all about what the group got up to as we celebrate 10 years of partnership and life-changing trips.

A warm welcome from our partner schools

As the volunteers arrived at our partner schools for their first day, they were greeted by children and teachers holding banners, excited to celebrate their tenth trip with them. With many volunteers returning for their eighth, ninth or even tenth trip, it was an opportunity to say hello to old friends they hadn’t seen since last year.

Jubilee Academy

Derby County Community Trust introduced their volunteers to Jubilee Academy in 2016, and over the past years, they have watched the school grow as well as the pupils! This year, the volunteers continued to support the school’s growth by digging the footings for three new permanent classrooms.

The group also replaced the school fencing making it safer and more secure, gave the school a fresh coat of paint and fixed a water butt so the children have drinking water.

“The trip was incredibly eye-opening, thought-provoking and perspective-changing, and I strongly believe that everyone would benefit from doing a trip like this at least once.” Volunteer.

Cherish School

After a traditional welcome from the Cherish acrobat team and meeting the Cherish cows, the group got to work levelling the school ground ready for further development, dug footings for a dining hall, painted the gate and murals in the classroom and planted trees.

The group had hours of fun playing with the children on the new playground equipment they had installed.

West End Academy

Over the two weeks, the pupils developed various skills in the classroom with the teaching volunteers. The volunteers taught an English lesson to PP1 where they read The Tiger Who Came to Tea to the children and finished it with everyone colouring in a picture of a Tiger.

Our big focus in Kenya is upgrading all classrooms to permanent, brick-built structures, and the progress made on this project at West End is fantastic! The building and renovation volunteers got to work straight away building concrete shuttering ready for the second floor of the classroom and the staircase. By the end of their two weeks, the wooden flooring was down, and the second storey was starting to take shape. The pupils had fun with the wooden offcuts as they placed them together to build a house.

The Walk Centre

At The Walk Centre, the volunteers helped repair five classroom floors, constructed a kitchen serving window, and helped build a perimeter wall to secure the school site.

With chairs being sent to be fixed via a TukTuk, the group spent time with the children, where they enjoyed extra snacks and visited their homes.

Chaddy Mission School

Along with trying out the playground equipment the group kindly purchased, the volunteers helped to mix concrete for the floors of the new permanent classroom and completed the construction of the roof.

There were lots of beaming smiles on donation day at Chaddy, thanks to the generosity of the volunteers.

Ungana Academy

It was the Rams’ ninth time volunteering at Ungana Academy, and the teachers and pupils were very excited to welcome them back.

Matthew, a carpenter and furniture maker, made a moveable dividing wall for the new permanent classroom at Ungana, which DCCT volunteers previously built.

“By making a bi-fold door, I was able to prevent blocking the windows in the room and blocking the light. Both the headteacher, Katherine and I were so happy with how this has turned out and how this has helped change the use of the room for all of the children”. Matthew.

The group also celebrated Katherine’s 70th birthday.

DCCT vs Supernova FC

Derby County Community Trust volunteers enjoyed playing a football match against the local Kenyan village team, Supernova FC. The team was formed to give young men in the local community a place to go and something to focus on, improving their well-being and social cohesion. The volunteers kindly donated a complete kit and boots to each team member.

A time to celebrate

To celebrate a decade of friendship and partnership with DCCT, our in-country team threw a surprise party for the group, with some old faces making an appearance.

I really hoped that our anniversary, the 10th Rams in Kenya trip would be special but I really couldn’t have anticipated just how special it was.  For a multitude of reasons, the trip is extremely close to my heart and our 2023 trip only cemented this further.  My experience suggests that what makes a trip great is the attitude and enthusiasm of our volunteers to absolutely do their utmost to help the simply wonderful Kenyan children and teachers in any way that their skills and imagination can and our 81 volunteers were tireless in this pursuit.  Ally this with the warmth and love of the children that welcomed us with open arms and hearts and it resulted in an experience that was so, so special that it will stay with me forever. Paul Newman, Group Leader and Derby County Community Trust Community Manager.

Through their ten trips, Derby County Community Trust has built long-term relationships with our partner schools, profoundly impacting hundreds of children’s lives.  We want to say a massive thank you to them and to all of their volunteers who have contributed to such vital work over the years.

If you would like to join DCCT for their Rams in Kenya 2024 trip, please click here.

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