UAE students share lessons learned while volunteering abroad

ABU DHABI - After what they described as a ‘life-changing’ experience at the Loruwani Primary school in Arusha, Tanzania, a group of Grade 6 and 7 students from Raha International School in Abu Dhabi returned to share the lessons they have learned while volunteering abroad.

By A Staff Reporter

Published: Wed 19 Mar 2008, 8:36 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 6:47 PM

The Loruwani Primary School in Tanzania where the students went for voluntary work, has 1,495 students and only nine classrooms that lack basic supplies. They spent several days engaged in projects to improve some of the conditions.

The students helped renovate a classroom, painted murals, paid to put in a floor for the classroom along with doors and windows, fed all the children at the school for three days, brought five huge boxes of supplies with them for the students and school, got 10 tables and 16 chairs made for the staff of the school and are currently working with their parent community to send a shipment of supplies to the school in June.

One of the students, Erin Gooding, commented, “For some of the Tanzanian students, it was their first-ever lunch. Some of the students walk for an hour to get to school each day!”

Another student, Felix Bitzer, noted, “I think that this trip has changed my life a lot. The trip has shown me that I should be more grateful for what I have and I am sure that I will remember that. I have also noticed more that you can be happy without or with less money. In the future, I sure will try and help more kids in Africa in order to help make a difference.”

According to Saif Al Hameli, a UAE national and another student who participated in the trip, “We started working almost two months before we actually went to Tanzania… it took a lot of work to get us there and we are still working now that we have come back home.”

Jeewan Chanicka, the Humanities teacher who planned the trip, said, “I think the most important thing is that the students returned realising how much we can learn from the beautiful people and children there and how much we can share from all that we enjoy here in the UAE.”

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