Ottery students set of on Ethiopia trek

STUDENT ambassadors from The King s School set off on a once in a life time quest to make a difference in Ethiopia today.

STUDENT ambassadors from The King's School set off on "a once in a life time" quest to make a difference in Ethiopia today.

Nine pupils from years 11 to 13 are on their way to Africa as part of the Dreams + Teams project which aims to develop global citizenship, cultural awareness and leadership through sport.

The group of 15 to 18 year olds will visit Woliso, 120 km south-west of capital city Addis Ababba, to plan, deliver and review a sports festival for elementary school children. They will also take part in other activities to help them learn more about Ethiopian life, culture, its education system and the aspirations of its young people.

The trip will further develop links with the Dej Gerusu Duki Secondary School which were formed in 2007. The school has more than 5000 students and around 100 teaching staff.

Rob Gammon, Deputy Headteacher at The King's School told the Herald before the party set off: "Our students will go out as ambassadors for the school and the town and I am sure they will do a fantastic job in challenging the stereotypes in the minds of Ethiopian young people and will inspire all that they meet.

"During the visit we hope to achieve the aims of developing the global perspective of students and a practical understanding of what it means to be a global citizen.

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"The demands of meeting new challenges in a third world country will be significant. I am convinced that as a result of this experience, the young people, both in Ethiopia and from The King's School, will make a more positive and worthwhile contribution to the communities in which they live."

Students have been hard at work for the past year raising more than �1200 for the trip and to buy much-needed equipment for their Ethiopian counterparts.

Fundraising events have included stints packing bags in Marks and Spencers, a jewellery sale and an auction in which athlete and Commonwealth Games silver medallist Jo Pavey donated a singlet which fetched �140.

Mr Gammon hopes the nine students will be able to contribute their experiences back into the Ottery and its schools upon their return. He added: "This is seen as part of a much more long term commitment by the community of The King's School and Ottery St Mary to the link with Ethiopia.