The journey from launching Giving Nation to our year 8 students, way back last year, to arriving back at Heathrow airport has been inspiring and fulfilling on so many levels.
As a teacher, the Giving Nation Challenge has been so rewarding, every year I see all the students grow in confidence, understanding and ability before my eyes.
This year I saw the initial joy of participation in the challenge and then the sheer wonder at winning the competition. I experienced the sense of achievement and pride it gave us all; students, staff and parents.
The process of choosing the students who would go on the trip showed me all the humility, sensitivity and understanding which 13/14 year olds are capable of. Preparing for the trip to India was informative and exciting for everyone involved and beyond.
India was quite simply life affirming as both a teacher and as a human being. It confirmed and taught me many things about myself, about young people and about the volunteering work people do. It was for all 6 of us, myself and the 5 students, a journey. The work of Raleigh International volunteers, charities and NGO’s could never have been so clearly described or understood by reading books or watching videos. The warmth, generosity and humanity of the Indian people we met was unforgettable. The planning and care which went into organising our trip was outstanding.
These trips, when the opportunity comes up are amazing, but even without the ultimate prize, Giving Nation Challenge will always be something students will find rewarding and worth doing. Thank you to everyone who was involved in making it possible and brilliant. A big thank you goes to everyone involved at every level.