TREKKING through the Himalayas and visiting the Taj Mahal was a distant dream for most students who were hard at work revising for their A Levels.
But a group of 17 and 18-year-olds from Stratford School decided to make their dreams a reality and visit India for three weeks as part of a ‘World Challenge’ programme.
After passing their exams, the 20 students went on to raise more than £3,000 each by holding raffles, bake sales and quiz nights to fund their exotic trip – with the first stop being Manali, a popular tourist town built in the mountains.
Rather than stopping off at the local attractions, the kind-hearted group instead went straight to work renovating a primary school which was in need of repair.
They painted classrooms with animal pictures, letters and a map of the world, and when they had time to spare they would join the local youngsters playing cricket.
Teacher Kate Grundy who led the trip said: “It took four very long days to get the job done but the reward was in the gratitude of the children when they saw their beautiful and vibrant classrooms.”
Next stop was a trek into the Himalayas which saw them battle through snow, mud and rocky ground before setting up camp and even finding their own water.
And the altitude sickness which affected many of them on the 4,000m hike was soon forgotten as the team enjoyed their last few days visiting the Taj Mahal and other sights in India.
Miss Grundy said: “The last few days rounded off the adventure beautifully. It was a fabulous experience none of them will forget and has demonstrated how our students have grown into delightful, kind and considerate young adults.”
Some of the group suffered from altitude sickness but they didn’t let it stop them enjoying the experience. (s)
The only way is up for the Stratford School students. (s)
Three weeks were spent traveling around India – funded entirely by the students. (s)
The students helped renovate a run-down school in Manali. (s)