Boswells Students Head to Borneo for Community Work
Fourteen students from the Boswells School flew out to Borneo this July as they took part in the school’s second Camps International community programme to help and assist locals throughout the country. The four-week trip, tweo years after the previous school trip to Peru in 2015, sees students staying at different camps throughout the country to contribute towards projects in various different remote areas that aim to give back and assist the local residents.
The students, who had to fundraise the money themselves to pay for the trip, were involved in community projects that included concreting a market square, constructing a volleyball court, building a new home for an elderly local woman, beach cleaning, re-planting trees in the jungle and many more community-based projects. The students also got to spend some time in local schools and kindergartens, where they switched their time between teaching some of the older students and playing fun games with the younger ones.
In their down time, the students were able to get a real feel for the country and the people by playing volleyball with the local children, and by taking part in activities such as local dance workshops and learning the language and customs of the Dusun, the people native to the area of Sabah. The trip also included not one but two ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ experiences as they were able to visit Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary to see Orangutans in the wild, and to complete their PADI Scuba diving qualification off Gaya Island in and amongst some of the world’s most beautiful coral reef.
Teacher Callum Ridgway said, “This genuinely was one of those once-in-a-lifetime trips and it certainly lived up to every expectation. The Bornean people were all really friendly and made us feel welcome and at home in their country, and some of the project work to get stuck into was really rewarding as you could see you were making a difference to people who appreciated your help. It has to be said though that the trip was made by our students who were exceptional for the whole four weeks and represented the school amazingly. They broke all the records for the amount of work done by each project group, such as planting trees and how much concrete they could produce, some days working for 7-8 hours in 35C heat. They really embraced every aspect of camp life and can leave with lots of good memories and positive experiences.”