Asia welcomes World Challenge pupils

Derby students have set off on an expedition to Uzbekistan and Kyrgztan, tackling the Silk Route as part of World Challenge

Sixteen girls from Derby High school, in Littleover, have set off on a trek that will see them travel 64km in mountains, at altitude, for up to eight hours a day. An acclimatisation trek in Son Kul, Kyrgyzstan, precedes the main trek from Terskey to Alatau, a mountain range in Kyrgyzstan. After the trek, the girls will then travel to Uzbekistan where they will stay with local families.

Carole Riley, head of chemistry at the school, is leading the trip with the school’s head of art, Sarah Martin-Smith. Each girl taking part had to raise £3,900 to pay for the expedition, with fund-raising efforts including bag-packing at supermarkets, washing cars, selling homemade jewellery and holding a concert. All the students were responsible for planning the accommodation, travel and finances during their month-long trip.

The expedition commenced on 6th July in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, where the girls had to book accommodation and travel and buy supplies. There will be a six-day stay the mountain village of Nuratau, assisting the community project of installing pipes for the local water supply. The girls will also be expected to assist with daily tasks such as fetching water, making bread, helping with the fruit harvest and milking the goats.

Expedition participant Helena Cochrane, 17, said: “I’m really looking forward to the community project, staying with the families and experiencing the local culture.”

Fellow student Ellie Erskine, 17, added: “We will be there during the festival of Eid too, [which] will be interesting.”

The expedition will last 28 days.

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