Being Challenged – Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Earlier this summer two senior pupils took part in school trips abroad to assist local people with building projects. Although the focus of both projects was to give out, it was interesting to see what difference it had made to them as well as to the community they visited. Areas of interest were specifically around challenges and surprises they encountered but also the changes it may have sparked in them now they have returned. Despite the uniqueness of their experiences, there are some interesting similarities in their learnings. There are also lessons we can draw from them to help ourselves


Kirsty Geddes went with Royal High School Y2mate, Edinburgh to work with Habitat for Humanity in Romania. She was involved with building houses on the Wesley Way for HfH Beius, a non-profit ecumenical Christian housing ministry, an affiliate of HFH International. They are seeking to eliminate poverty housing in the Beius community in north-west Romania, and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action.

Cara Forrest travelled to Malawi with Dunoon Grammar School to work with Community Initiative for Self Reliance (CISER). She and her friends built a health clinic to assist in the provision of vaccinations to the Under-5s. CISER is a Malawian Non-Governmental Organization based in Mangochi, whose mission is to enhance self-reliance among the residents of local communities as a means of contributing to national development.


Both girls talked about the level of hard, physical work as being the biggest challenge they faced. Neither of them would have claimed great experience of manual labour prior to the trip, and certainly not in the extreme heat that they both had to deal with. Kirsty talked about the hours of shovelling sand and making cement but even the ‘simple’ task of pushing loaded wheelbarrows of cement proved to be hard work. However, as the days went by, the task became easier, their bodies became acclimatised and they coped better

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