Teenagers from Yate take lessons at school in Uganda
9:10am Saturday 2nd October 2010 in News By Alexandra Womack, senior reporter covering Yate, Chipping Sodbury, Winterbourne, Frampton Cotterell, Rangeworthy, Wickwar, Hawkesbury, Iron Acton, Coalpit Heath and Old Sodbury
THREE teenagers from Yate have seen the world in a different light after a teaching trip to Uganda.
Claire Stirling, Jack Howell and Hannah Gale, who all studied at Brimsham Green School, are the first Western students to lead lessons at Hosanna Primary School in the slums of Kampala.
Their two-week trip has opened their eyes to international inequalities.
Claire, 18, who is now taking a gap year to work on an Australian ranch, said: "Just having a hot shower and using a clean toilet has made me think, because they have none of that in Uganda.
"It really makes you appreciate everything so much more and makes you realise we don’t appreciate what we have enough."
Brimsham has a long-standing partnership with the school, which was founded as a church by Anne Nsubuga when her husband died of AIDS in 1998. Before being tested for the disease, Anne pledged that if she was negative she would dedicate her life to helping others. She was given the all clear and opened the church but soon realised there were more children than adults and decided a school was needed more.
"She is an amazing woman," said Jack, also 18. "The pupils and teachers work so hard that they manage to compete with top schools in the country.
"But one day whilst we were there heavy rain came in and the open sewers flooded in the playground. Children just walked over it because they are so used to it."
Hannah, 19, who is in her second year studying English Literature at Exeter University, said the most moving part of the trip was visiting the baby class.
"Some of the children were so tiny and they literally had nothing to play with," she said. "The younger ones finish at lunchtime but many of them would come back and stay in the playground for the rest of the day because it was safer than going home."
The trio, who were accompanied by Brimsham teacher Pridie Davies, took lessons of up to 70 pupils per class. They took with them resources funded by Yate Rotary Club and Brimsham Green School.
"We bought every pupil an exercise book and a pencil," said Jack, who is reading conservation biology at Reading University. "It meant so much to them for us to be there and building a relationship with the school is so important."
They have given presentations about their trip, organised under the Global Partnership initiative, to every year group at Brimsham Green School. The school hopes to send more students to Uganda in 2012.
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