STAFF and students were shown the stark differences between life at the Mary Hare School in Newbury and a school for deaf children in Africa during a recent trip to Tanzania.
The group of nine travelled to Buguruni School for the deaf in Dar es Salaam, which caters for around 250 profoundly deaf pupils.
Teaching assistant KiriLynne Gardner said: “All the children are profoundly and severely deaf just like our school in Newbury but the schools could not be more different.
“The children in Africa are treated differently and it just reminds us how lucky we are.
“The children in Africa have no amplification for their hearing and rely heavily on sign language.
“They rarely see an audiologist and don’t have access to speech therapists and rarely attend further education or regular work after their education.
“Their school life involves cleaning and washing and they only play football once a week after school.”
The Mary Hare School had raised more than £11,000 for the trip through a series of fundraising events during the last year, and a further a £2,200 was raised for a donation to the Buguruni School.
The team spent a total of 10 days in Africa, returning at the end of October.
While there, the group, made up of five staff members, one parent and three students, took on several projects to help the children learn new skills, including making footballs out of carrier bags.
The three students – Max Taucher, 18, Cameron Levy Pollock, 17, and Claudia Davies, 16 – also spent a day making food for the whole school on an outdoor cooking pot.
Mrs Gardner said: “I am over the moon at the support we have received for us to reach our target it has been overwhelming and to get to meet the children at the school in Africa was very emotional.
“It was lovely to learn from the children as well help teach them a skill.”
To make a donation visit www.justgiving.co.uk/Africa-Trail