A group of 30 Buckswood Students have returned from a 10th anniversary trip to the Kingdom of Swaziland, having spent two weeks doing charitable works and making a splash in the national Swazi news.
One of the first appointments of the trip included an afternoon at the EU Embassy residence with Nicholla Bellemo the EU ambassador, where students learnt about the work the EU are doing in the Kingdom financially supporting the free primary education programme.
School Director, Giles Sutton, who acts as an Educational Consultant to the country, discussed the importance of cultural awareness and global citizenship with the Ambassador. During the trip, Mr Sutton and Gilly Johnson, head of teacher development at Buckswood UK, ran training sessions for the Swazi Department of Education; with the aim of bringing Western teaching best practice techniques with a focus on student-centred learning, multiple intelligences, teacher support and mentoring.
Having visited Swaziland for 10 years, Buckswood has built relationships with many organisations in the Kingdom, including the Royal Children’s’ Charity, where the Princes and Princesses undertake charity work to help the less fortunate.
As part of the Charity’s works, the group from Buckswood spent time at the Holy Ghost School with Prince Benkhosi who rolled up his sleeves along with the Buckswood students, and undertook repair works to the classrooms and surrounding village.
As well as helping local schools, the group also spent time at the Good Sheperd Hospital, where they provide invaluable nursing care to residents of the Lubombo region who have the greatest difficulty reaching the nearest clinics or health centres.
School Director Mr Sutton said in his address at the Holy Ghost School: “Every time I visit the Kingdom I am always taken aback at how happy the Swazi people are. We are made to feel at home and very welcome. When we are walking on the streets in the cities of this country (Swaziland) we feel very much safe and comfortable.”
This year’s trip marks the 10th anniversary of the School visiting Swaziland, and over the years the school has made a significant difference to the schools and hospitals they have assisted in helping communities become more self sufficient with the introduction of water pumps, planting coffee and banana plantations and Fair Trade initiatives of traditional Swaziland crafts.