AFTER months of fundraising 24 students from Stoke on Trent College and the City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College will jet off for South Africa.
The team of teens are taking part in the annual Challenge South Africa project, which will see them spend 10 days working in community projects in Cape Town, including visits to a resident run soup kitchen.
Each student has had to raise £650 to cover the cost of their trip, and students have worked even harder to raise additional cash to buy in supplies for the community soup kitchen, as well as help prepare food parcels alongside the local volunteers.
Rachel Basnett, External Partnerships & Events Co-ordinator at The City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College, said the project played a vital part in fostering respect and mutual understanding towards others and other cultures.
“As colleges we are very strongly committed to celebrating diversity and creating opportunities for our students to develop as well rounded and reasoning individuals.
This year, Stoke City Community Trust will be supporting the challenge by donating gift packs to give to deprived schoolchildren in Cape Town to help them with their studies.
Adrian Hurst, Head of Community at Stoke City Community Trust, said: “We are delighted that Stoke City Football Club are able to support the Challenge South Africa project by donating gift packs to some of the young people from the deprived communities of Cape Town, South Africa.
“It is our intention that that over the next couple of years we will support some of the Community Trust’s volunteers to accompany the students from Stoke on Trent College/City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College to deliver structured coaching sessions and donate sports equipment.”
Calvin Austin, Learner Involvement Co-ordinator at Stoke-on-Trent College, said he was delighted that the project has continued to develop over the 12 years since it began.
“Challenge South Africa offers a wealth of exciting opportunities and activities that help to develop their overall confidence and employability skills, including creating and delivering sports coaching and art and craft projects in local schools and the local communities.”
He said: “Challenge South Africa offers a vital opportunity for our students to experience a completely different culture and to broaden their horizons, and we look forward to welcoming continued support for the program from Stoke City Community Trust.”