St Albans students’ African charity mission

A LIFE-CHANGING charity mission to Africa saw pupils from a St Albans school transform the lives of former street children and orphans.

The 36 students, who are members of the St Albans School Combined Cadet Force (CCF), travelled out to Mwanza in Tanzania during the summer holidays, and helped local craftsmen and builders construct two orphanages and a primary school.

Over the course of three weeks, the students painted classrooms at the Ilemela Primary School and Mt Zion Orphanage and helped plaster walls at the Watoto Wa Africa Orphanage. The cadets were prepared for the work with basic lessons in wall rendering from Seddon Property Services at Cheapside Farm, prior to their departure.

Derek Todd, bursar at St Albans School, who travelled with the students to Tanzania, said: “The boys did brilliantly. They had a great time and got quite competitive in their work.

“We achieved everything we hoped for – it was definitely an experience to remember.”

The St Albans School CCF cadets have raised over �35,000 to fund the series of projects in Mwanza as part of the Banana Tree Project, which was set up in 2006 with the aim of helping orphans and former street children to get into school. Fundraising events included a Tanzanian-themed party, puzzle nights and sponsored runs.

Ed Beavington, the Banana Tree Project director, said: “Students returned with a far better understanding of how some people live and what can be done to help in the future.

Most Read

“As the cadets have seen for themselves, there remain plenty of opportunities to sponsor children from the orphanages visited through secondary school and help renovate the buildings.”

For more information about the Banana Tree Project, visit: