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Andover College celebrate recent trip to South Africa 

Andover College has taken 11 students, some leaving the country for the very first time to South Africa. The group consisted of five students studying Early Years and six studying Art. Each specialism finding its own place within the trip.  

Organised by Gap Africa, (a company frequented by Animal Management students studying at Sparsholt College Group’s, Sparsholt Campus) the trip consisted of a 28-hour journey and 14 days with the aim of building the students confidence and skills.   

Over the two weeks, both groups came into their own, using their skills to ‘get stuck in’ the way they knew best. Whilst visiting a local orphanage, schools and a creche, Early Years students spent time with young children and seeing first-hand South Africa’s approach to the early stages of education. Whilst Art students gave the building a new lease of life, painting murals on the exterior in celebration of the rich culture experienced and local animals. 

Prior to their visit both Andover College and Gap Africa brought donations together for the visiting students to share with the local children. Gifts such as clothes, schools supplies and footballs were given out.  

Each day bought something new, from Game drives, scorpion hunts, animal tracking, learning from those at the Rhino Project and working alongside Donald Schultz as he brought his latest project, Snake Pharm back to life.  

The trip enabled students to immerse themselves in a culture, miles apart from their own and Andover College is incredibly proud of the way the students met each adventure with open arms.  

Geoff Harmer, Creative and Digital Technology Lecturer, said: “I was incredibly proud of how each student conquered their fears and phobias. Jumping on every opportunity made available to them, that was both humbling and exciting to witness.” 

During their downtime, students took a moment to reflect on their trip, the things they had learnt and would come to miss when their trip came to an end.  

Mandy Woodray, Early Years and Education Lecturer, said: “The learners quickly moulded into a group of volunteers rather than two separate groups of students. They supported each other to conquer fears and phobias and celebrated the achievements of all made. The differences seen in the culture of the people we were with will stay with our students and change their views on life in the future. All students came back having learnt things about themselves, about others and with a differing perspective on what is important in life”.