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Trip of a lifetime for Springwood students

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Twenty-five students from Springwood left the UK last week for a two week trip to Thailand. They are taking part in the Thailand Global Citizenship Challenge, a project run by the Challenges Abroad organisation. Challenges Abroad aims to bring meaning to travel, giving an experience beyond the traditional tourist excursion.

Springwood High School Thailand Trip - Ian Burt (58234030)
Springwood High School Thailand Trip - Ian Burt (58234030)

The students first week is being spent teaching pupils at Ban Kupuang (KP) School about climate change. Workshops for the local children are being centred around STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) activities, with the Springwood students helping to raise the Thai children’s awareness of climate change, as well as assisting them with their English skills.

Other activities planned include community clear-ups and tree-planting projects, to demonstrate the importance of a clean and safe environment and to show how to offset carbon footprints.

For the second week of the trip, the Springwood students will be based at Thailand’s famous Elephant Nature Park, 60km outside of Chiang Mai, where over 100 elephants share a home with other rescued animals, such as cats, dogs and buffaloes.

The group will help care for the sanctuary’s residents, looking after their environment, preparing their food, feeding them, and even taking some for walks, while learning about both animal welfare and sustainable tourism.

The students are also getting to enjoy some leisure activities with excursions to religious and historical sites, such as temples and Chiang Mai Old Town. Other leisure activities include movie nights and trips to local restaurants.

Before the trip Springwood student George Pooley said: “Not only will I now be able to go and see this amazing country, but we will also get to try new Thai food and meet the local people, which will allow us to get a feel for the way of living in Thailand and to learn some of the language spoken there.

"My aims for the trip are to gain a better understanding of the local community and way of life, and to help the people living there.”

Fellow student Zara Bek added: “I’m hoping to continue to grow my confidence levels both in myself and in my ability to work as part of a team to make a tangible difference.

"I hope to gain memories of a fantastic experience in another country, as well as the knowledge that, as a group, we have made an impact. It’s a valuable experience after A-levels that will help me with life going forward.”

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