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Springwood High School students care for elephants in Thailand





Twenty-five sixth-formers enjoyed the adventure of a lifetime when they travelled to Thailand to care for rescued elephants and to teach local school children about climate change.

The students from Springwood High School successfully completed the two-week Thailand Global Citizenship Challenge.

Flying to Bangkok, then onto Chiang Mai, the group spent their first week in Thailand working with pupils at Ban Kupuang School in Mae Sariang to teach them about climate change.

Springwood sixth formers in Thailand (58793341)
Springwood sixth formers in Thailand (58793341)

The Springwood students ran workshops to help raise the Thai pupils’ awareness of climate change issues, and also assisted them with their English skills.

In addition, they took part in community clear ups and tree-planting projects alongside the children.

“The time spent at the local school proved a challenge, because of the language barrier,” said Jessica Cuss, who was one of the teachers leading the trip. “But they were so determined to share their knowledge, they persevered and were creative in their approach.”

Springwood sixth formers in Thailand (58793339)
Springwood sixth formers in Thailand (58793339)

The second week found the group 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 students helped care for the sanctuary’s residents, looking after their environment, preparing their food, feeding them, and even taking some for walks.

“Thailand was a fantastic experience,” said student Zara Bek. “Learning about the impact of tourism on native animals, specifically elephants, was eye-opening.”

The trip also gave the young volunteers a taste of Thai culture, and included excursions to religious and historical sites, as well as time to relax and plenty of opportunity to sample the local cuisine.

Springwood sixth formers in Thailand (58793335)
Springwood sixth formers in Thailand (58793335)

“I loved bonding with everyone through the exquisite food they cooked for us there,” said fellow student Katrina Sambaryte.

Springwood sixth formers in Thailand (58793333)
Springwood sixth formers in Thailand (58793333)
Springwood sixth formers in Thailand (58793337)
Springwood sixth formers in Thailand (58793337)
Springwood sixth formers in Thailand (58793326)
Springwood sixth formers in Thailand (58793326)
Springwood sixth formers in Thailand (58793324)
Springwood sixth formers in Thailand (58793324)
Springwood sixth formers in Thailand (58793322)
Springwood sixth formers in Thailand (58793322)
Springwood sixth formers in Thailand (58793320)
Springwood sixth formers in Thailand (58793320)
Springwood sixth formers in Thailand (58793318)
Springwood sixth formers in Thailand (58793318)
Springwood sixth formers in Thailand (58793316)
Springwood sixth formers in Thailand (58793316)
Springwood sixth formers in Thailand (58793312)
Springwood sixth formers in Thailand (58793312)

Another student, Jessica McKenzie, said: “It was a truly amazing and life-changing experience, getting to both observe and experience another culture so different to our own.”



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