Worthing pupils preparing for African community mission

Mr Dineen before the big shave SUS-181207-144004001
Mr Dineen before the big shave SUS-181207-144004001

Pupils from Davison Church of England High School for Girls are on the campaign trail as they raise funds for a trip to Ghana next year.

Eighteen students are tasked with raising £2,490 each to pay for the visit to Elmina Province where they will spend two weeks helping out in the community.

Mr Dineen with a finely curated moustache mid-shave SUS-181207-144016001

Mr Dineen with a finely curated moustache mid-shave SUS-181207-144016001

The girls, from years nine and ten, will be improving classrooms in a local school and helping lay foundations for new classrooms to be built.

Anna Owen, one of the girls involved, said she is excited but the experience still doesn’t feel real.

“I put myself forward for this trip as I wanted to give back to those who aren’t lucky enough to have a good education,” she said.

“We in the UK are sometimes complacent about giving back and appreciating our opportunities, but I also wanted to open my mind to the world outside our borders.”

Some of the Ghana girls with a freshly shaved Mr Dineen SUS-180907-103559001

Some of the Ghana girls with a freshly shaved Mr Dineen SUS-180907-103559001

These sentiments are echoed by Anna’s classmate Olivia Heep, who said the scale of the fundraising challenge was daunting but exciting.

“Knowing all your earnings are going towards an incredible cause brings me great happiness,” she said.

“I have the opportunity to fly to Ghana to open up a path for the children that they never thought would be possible – they have the chance to gain an education they never thought they would have.

“I want to help those vulnerable children to show them that anything is possible.”

All of the money raised will go towards the students’ travel, board and food, as well as providing some resources to help carry out the work.

Community manager for the school, Nimie Bunyard, said the trip is about helping the students to grow in confidence and see the world from a different perspective.

The students will split themselves into groups every day, with each taking responsibility for a different element including budget, cooking, buying resources, cleaning and washing, reminding the others to take their medication and leading the group.

Although at the start of their fundraising journey, the girls have a packed programme of events to help them reach their target.

Over the coming months they will be organising car boot sales, coffee mornings, a sponsored abseil, silent auctions, car washing, music events and one student is walking 50 miles across the South Downs.

Last Wednesday one of their teachers, Sam Dineen, volunteered to have his beard shaved off, raising £105 in the process.

“Emrah Akdag from Bladez Barbers volunteered to give Mr Dineen a professional wet shave,” said Ms Bunyard.

“Where would we be if people like Emrah and Mr Dineen didn’t offer their time, energy and beards to help others?”