Our core aim throughout all our trips is that YOU meet and work with the communities you visit, whether that is through volunteering, taking part in workshops or just engaging with the local community and embracing their culture. It is important that our trips promote responsible tourism and that any projects we get involved in are already established projects that we can help become more sustainable. We have close relationships with our partner projects and have seen first-hand the difference our groups can make both to their community and their economy.
We specifically work with projects that are providing support to children and young people who are destitute. In Kenya we currently work with two schools for destitute children. Melon Mission & Silver Bells both provide education, care and support to over 600 children. In India we work with our partners Red Chilli Adventure and support schools based in the mountains of Rishikesh and P.E.T.E (providing education to everyone) India, a charity working with communities in the slums of Delhi.
Whilst both trips to Kenya and India promote community cohesion, our Kenya based trips have a large emphasis on volunteering and you will be based with them for the majority of your experience. In India your group will be involved in community engagement and this will be achieved through workshops and skill sharing.
We have been working with two projects in Kenya for over 4 years. They are both schools for orphaned and destitute children and between them they cater for 700 children. They help provide a safe and secure environment for these children as well as providing them with free education and no extra cost for uniform or books.
Melon mission is the larger of the two schools with around 600 students. We have seen this school go from strength to strength since we started working with them. We have been able to help renovate 5 classrooms at the school providing the rooms with a new lick of paint, repairing the floors and repainting the blackboards. By doing this we have been able to provide a better learning environment for the children.
We have also been able to help fund the food for the school. By doing this we are making sure the school has a steady stream of food so that no child goes hungry. As the majority of children who attend Melon Mission are street children they rely on the two meals they receive at the school for their energy as they simply have no money to afford food.
As well as providing food we have helped to fund a 500 litre water storage tanks so the school has a source of water. As well as this we have been able to build an improved toilet block providing better sanitation and more privacy.
But this is only the beginning for Melon Mission. They have managed to purchase some land in which they are going to build a new brick and mortar school. With the direct help from volunteers and the money we have raised we have helped Melon Mission build the first and second classroom at their new site. As well as this we raised money to build a permanent boundary fence to make the new site as secure as possible.
Silver Bells is the smaller of the two schools we work with. it currently has 100 children who attend the school. The school has really grown from the 8 children when it first started.
Since working with Silver Bells we have been able to help build 3 new classrooms for them with the latest classroom having been completed in July 2016. The newest classroom includes a sky light to encourage more natural light into the room to make the learning environment more encouraging.
The biggest project we have supported at Silver Bells is the construction of a new Kitchen and food store. It has allowed the movement of the cooking on an open fire in a wooden shed into a completely tiled kitchen with two wood powered ovens. This will allow Silver Bells to cater for more children due to the extra space they have to prepare and cook their food.
We have also supported the supply of food at Silver Bells to make sure the children get the food they need and otherwise would not get unless the school provided it.
Another project we have also supported is the sanitation facilities at Silver Bells. We have built a connection to the main water source for the school to provide running tap water providing a permanent water source. We also funded the construction of a water storage tank so the school can store water in case there was ever a water shortage. As well as this we have been able to help fund and construct a new toilet block at the school with some western toilets and recently built a new septic tank for the storage of waste water.
We have only just started to run trips to India with our first trip in October 2015. Through our partners Red Chilli Adventure we are currently supporting two projects providing education and social enterprise in two areas of India. One in the rural north of the country and one in the city of Delhi.
North of Risikesh we work with an isolated school in the mountainous region in the foothills of the Himalayas. It is a school for children aged 2-12 and does receive government funding. We have helped the school by providing fun and interactive lessons for the children- a very different learning style that they do not normally receive. We have also helped fund much needed resources for the school. This includes textbooks and writing resources they desperately needed. As well as buying much needed resources we also took donations of school jumpers across to the school to keep the children warm during the winter months as the temperature drops dramatically.
PETE have long been working with projects in the slum area of Delhi. They have some small teaching rooms to teach children who cannot get into a government funded school due to the cost of buying a uniform or other resources. As well as this they also provide other small rooms for social enterprise projects. They focus on teaching women the art of tailoring by providing sewing machines and the materials needed. They then sell these items to make a small profit which can be used to help the charity move forward.
Whilst working with PETE we helped to repaint the school room and the room used for social enterprise. This provided them with a clean fresh working environment providing a much needed brighter space for everyone to work. As well as this we gave a small donation to help support their many projects.