Eight students from the college Ystrad Mynach have returned from a successful trip to Lesotho, Africa, where they helped educate young third world children.
Accompanied by three lecturers from The College, the group flew out to Lesotho for two weeks.
The students, who are all studying either childcare or health and social care, encouraged disadvantaged children to learn through fun and creative play activities designed to help stimulate the development of English as a spoken language. The group also visited a range of pre-schools with the Ministry of Education which provided a valuable insight into the education system in Lesotho.
Before the trip, each student had to raise £800 individually to fund the project, which they did through organising ironing sessions, selling recipe books and drumming up local community support for their bake sales and car washes.
Alyson Lewis, Early Years lecturer at The College Ystrad Mynach and one of the lecturers on the trip, said:
“The students were able to develop their team work and problem solving skills whilst experiencing another culture. It showed them how fortunate they are to be living in Wales where there are ample opportunities for them to learn.
“It also provided them with the opportunity to use the knowledge they have gained from their courses and to put these skills into practice in a real life situation. As a college, we hope to continue to strengthen our links with Lesotho in the future.”
The College’s link to Lesotho was first forged when its former head of care Lesley Cox visited the African country through her church in Penarth and set up a connection with the College on her return. This was the third year that a group from the College has visited Lesotho, which is completely surrounded by South Africa. Despite retiring in December 2011, Mrs Cox was also part of the trip.
One of the students who visited Lesotho was Amy Jones, aged 19, from Nelson. She said:
“It was an incredible experience. The children are so grateful and attentive as they really want to learn. It was extremely saddening to see the neglect some children face. However, we had great fun working with them and watching them learn. I feel so lucky to have been given the opportunity to work with such deserving children and it’s left a big impression on me.”