Over the summer our Quest volunteers have been working hard at our different projects in Africa and South America. All the teams got stuck in with a range of activities, with the aim of making a difference to the local communities (and animals!) we work with. Read on to find out what they got up to!
The Malawi team's project phase started off with a bang with 1,000 people turning up to welcome them to the village. The group’s main goal was to help improve the Chilaweni Primary School building and to give its pupils better access to educational resources. Our volunteers’ first task was to help enlarge the windows of four classrooms – not an easy job!
Working with the local builders, the team removed the old window frame, produced new breeze blocks and plastered and painted the larger windows. All together the process took nine days to complete. The large window will be benefit the 1,100 students who attend the school. By having more light in the classroom, the children in the last rows will be able to read what is on the chalkboard without walking to the front.
The team also helped convert an outdoor wall into a world map to help the children learn. To turn this idea into a reality, the team plastered the wall, covered it with an undercoat and then carried out the difficult task of painting all the different countries! Within three days the project was complete.
This simple idea will be a great help for teachers; the primary school does not have any atlases therefore it was very difficult to teach geography to the students. From now on the teachers can use the world map wall as a visual aid for teaching global geography.
When they were not busy painting and plastering, the team had the opportunity to watch the school’s graduation ceremony. It was an unforgettable moment for our volunteers: “It was really special to see all the children’s faces light up, they were all so proud and happy to get their results”.
Our volunteer had the challenging task of building a kitchen for Ubaka U Rwanda’s new youth centre. Working with Mapengu, the engineer who oversaw and designed the kitchen, and just two other local builders, the team completed the build in just 11 days.
Altogether it took 90 hours to build and 300 bricks were laid to complete the kitchen. The boys will now have a new and efficient stove to learn how to safely cook and prepare their meals. Our volunteer also had the opportunity to have some fun and join in with the boys’ football and basketball sessions.
We had our dedicated volunteer, Ali, join our Villa Maria team and help with the local community projects. Ali got involved straight away and assisted the local building team in preparing materials and constructing two brand new houses. The houses will provide new homes for families in desperate need of shelter and care.
When not busy building, Ali got stuck in with all the fun activities organised for the children in the local community! From playing games with the children, to even getting dressed up in a super hero costume, he was a great hit with all the kids. With Ali’s help, the team were able to provide more smiles and fun to the local children.
Our Quest team were really pushed to their limits when they were set the challenging task of helping construct a new enclosure for one of the male jaguars, Ru.
The group worked tirelessly for three weeks in tough conditions to complete the first phase of the construction. The team had to begin by clearing the ground, digging the holes and cementing the poles in place. All the materials required for the construction, such as sand and stones, had to be carried by hand from the camp to the enclosure’s location deep in the jungle – very gruelling work!
Time really is of the essence with this construction project as Ru’s current enclosure is no longer secure. There is a high risk that a tree may fall into it; because of this Ru is put in his management cage every night to keep him safe.
The volunteers' work has helped shorten the construction process and will allow Ru to have access to his new home sooner. Additionally once the new enclosure is complete, the pumas Wara and Yassi will be relocated into Ru’s old enclosure. This will vastly improve their quality of life since their current enclosure floods and is wet for approximately six months of the year.
We are very impressed with all the hard work our Quest teams put in over the summer and can’t thank them enough for all their support. A huge congratulations to all our volunteers for the amount they have achieved – clearly all your hard work paid off! If you would like to volunteer at one of our projects next year please visit: www.questoverseas.com.