Beyond Cranleigh BannerAt Speech Day and OC Day in summer 2010, the Head outlined the broadening of the Cranleigh Ethos to include the wider provision of opportunities for service away from the local area, including more chances for pupils to do service in communities in the developing world. As a complement to existing links in the Lebanon and Kenya, Cranleigh is partnering with Beyond Ourselves, a London-based charity that works to improve the lives of disadvantaged young people in both London and Zambia.

In August, Cranleigh masters Richard Humes and Stuart Block visited Beyond Ourselves projects in Zambia which work with several community schools in the Copperbelt region. They were heartened by the work they saw and the passion of the local Zambians in trying to provide education for their children, albeit with very limited resources and often without being paid for their teaching.

Having reported back their findings to the wider community at Cranleigh, they have seen an overwhelming sense amongst both Common Room and pupils that this is a great opportunity for Cranleighans to make a difference ‘Beyond Cranleigh’. The first practical outcome of this partnership is a planned trip in September 2011 for current members of the Upper Sixth and OCs to start building much-needed classrooms at Kawama School, in Kitwe.  Stuart Block will be joining this trip as part of his fundraising tandem ride, “Beyond the Bike”.  The school, currently consisting of 220 pupils, is run from a single building where five classes are taught simultaneously.

Zambia 2010 Intro Show (PowerPoint)

The first slide above shows Richard Humes and Jodie Collins from Beyond Ourselves talking to community leaders inside this building.

Beyond Ourselves LogoIn the October Long Leave following that trip, a group of current Fifth and Lower Sixth Formers would head out to finish the building and paint the classrooms, ready for use in January 2012. Slide 2 shows a 2008 Beyond Ourselves building team at Janna School that was also visited.

Alongside this, we will also be launching a child sponsorship programme. For £12.50 per month per pupil, this would include uniform, teachers’ salaries, textbooks and one free school meal for each pupil. In slides 3 and 4 above, Janna school pupils wait for Evelyn (the cook) and her team to serve them.

It is planned that there will be an annual trip to help with the Beyond Ourselves work at Kawama School and there is also scope for a gap year programme that may link up with our existing links in Kenya, to where David Walters has recently returned.

Beyond the BikeIn recent years Richard Humes has led trips to Tanzania and Ecuador, building classrooms and school facilities. They were excellent experiences for the pupils involved and beneficial for the local communities. However, what excites staff and pupils alike about the Kawama School project is that rather than a one-off trip as in the case of those mentioned above, this is going to be a continuous project, building a strong and long-term relationship with one school and community. Pupils will have significant build-up to their trips to help in Zambia and will then be able to keep in touch with developments and personal stories in the years to come.

If you’d like to find out more, please email Stuart Block.