Student Blog - Emily | Sense Africa

Student Blog – Emily

“I went out to Swaziland with Sense Africa, with a group of 15 other girls from my school. We first of all went to Tambankulu Christian Family church to build a resource centre for the children that would have working electricity and computers once finished. It was such a rewarding experience to see our hard work going up right in front of us and even more so because of all the fundraising we did prior to the trip. We also painted a care point at Komba, where there was a kitchen and classroom, funded for by the Christian Family Church, which helped Aids orphans.

We then did conservation work, which involved fixing and assembling bikes that had been donated from America. Once fully restored, we travelled to the mountain community of Shewula, to schools there and to hand out 75 bikes to children who travelled the furthest to get to school. This was a very humbling experience because it was evident how a basic change could have such an impact on their lives.

One memorable moment for me was when speaking to one primary school child who said it took him 1 hour and a half to walk to school every morning, and he was so excited when he got his bike, because of how it would change his life.

Amongst this fulfilling work, we also spent 4 days on safari seeing plenty of giraffe, rhino, lions, hippo a few elephants and even a black rhino.  It was very surreal that at night whilst in our tents, we could hear the lions from the surrounding enclosures (we were of course safely within camp!)

Whilst we were in Swaziland we took control of our trip entirely; from transport times, to cooking dinner (which turned out to be a big job when catering for 20) to deciding the ins and outs of each day, like what song we would sing at church.

It was a great learning curve as a team member and as a leader (we had a leader of the day each day), and we matured and gained a wealth of knowledge about decision-making and how to work well as a group of people with sometimes very different ideas.

It was honestly a life changing experience that I would recommend to anyone.”