Every year at the Reach Cambridge international summer school a number of students signup to participate in a Community Outreach program (this year a huge 20!), which is a chance for those students to do some charitable work within their time in Cambridge. This year, and for a number of past years, the charity which benefits from the efforts of these students is the SABRE Charitable Trust who build brighter futures for school children in rural Ghana by providing new schools and training teachers to improve their early years of education: find out more here www.sabretrust.org.
So far the Community Outreach team have met for two sessions. In our first session we spent some time bonding as a group, and then we explored the differences between life as a young schoolchild in rural Ghana, which we had learnt about from a lecture given by a member of SABRE the previous day, and our own early years of education. After reflecting on the number of stark differences some of the students said they felt sad and even guilty, but also that they felt powerful and able to make a difference! We then funnelled this motivation into a hugely imaginative ideas session, in which we thought of events which we could run that would fulfil our two goals: to raise awareness of the issues facing young schoolchildren in rural Ghana and to raise money for the SABRE Charitable Trust. In the end the session was a great success and the group left with a list of hopeful charitable events, such as a football tournament, a promises auction and a flash mob amongst others, as well as leaving with the enthusiasm to make them happen!
In our second session we started with some work in exploring what it takes to plan and run events in a team successfully, in which they decided that communication and playing to your team members strengths was vital. We then dived into a structured planning session and all the teams made huge amount of progress in the planning of their events.
The group are a dynamic and enthusiastic bunch students and are sure to succeed in making a difference during the summer school this year. More posts to follow as the charitable events take off!
Dan Cerigo, Community Outreach Coordinator