Springwood students enjoy trip of a lifetime
Twenty-five students are heading to Thailand for the trip of a lifetime, which will see them caring for rescued elephants and teaching local school children about climate change.
The students from Springwood High School are taking part in the two-week Thailand Global Citizenship Challenge – a programme run by the Challenges Abroad organisation.
Flying to Bangkok, then onto Chiang Mai, the group will spend their first week in Thailand working with pupils at Ban Kupuang (KP) School in Mae Sariang to teach them about climate change.
Workshops will be centred around STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) activities, with the Springwood students helping to raise the Thai children’s awareness of climate change, as well as assisting them with their English skills.
They will also take part in community clear ups and tree-planting projects alongside the children, to demonstrate the importance of a clean and safe environment and show how to off-set carbon footprints.
The second week of the trip, they will be based at Thailand’s famous Elephant Nature Park, 60km outside of Chiang Mai, where over 100 elephants share a home with other rescued animals, such as cats, dogs and buffaloes.
The group will help care for the sanctuary’s residents, looking after their environment, preparing their food, feeding them, and even taking some for walks, while learning about both animal welfare and sustainable tourism.
It won’t be all work and no play, however, as the trip will also give our students a taste of Thai culture, with excursions to religious and historical sites, such as temples and Chiang Mai Old Town, plus time to relax with movie nights and trips to local restaurants.
Student George Pooley said: “Not only will I now be able to go and see this amazing country, but we will also get to try new Thai food and meet the local people, which will allow us to get a feel for the way of living in Thailand and to learn some of the language spoken there.
"My aims for the trip are to gain a better understanding of the local community and way of life, and to help the people living there.”
Fellow student Zara Bek added: “I’m hoping to continue to grow my confidence levels both in myself and in my ability to work as part of a team to make a tangible difference.
“I hope to gain memories of a fantastic experience in another country, as well as the knowledge that, as a group, we have made an impact. It’s a valuable experience after A Levels that will help me with life going forward.”