The recent Alton Convent Sixth Form Expedition to India #ACSIndia2016, certainly challenged the minds and hearts of our students spending three weeks as teachers, relief workers and as tourists. Arriving shortly after the floods in Varanasi and with all schools closed, the students threw themselves into packing food parcels which were to be taken out to the worst hit areas. The students did manage to journey up to Mau to meet the deaf children who had been looking forward to their visit. Expedition leader Jill Kerr, “Not to be put off by a bit of rain, we headed north, although road was incredibly rough as much of it had been washed away. On arrival despite our lack of Hindi there was no issue and the children were so proud of their school and their achievements.”
Once the government opened the schools again the students spent their time teaching in our sister school St Joseph’s in Varanasi. Certainly with sixty in a class it was a very different experience to British schools. They taught a variety of pupils from the Hindi medium to the local orphans. The students also visited various local villages where some of the pupils lived. They were able to see first-hand how their donations from previous expeditions had been put to use. A few years ago Alton Convent School established the Meera Foundation – a school charity to raise funds to aid our Sisters at St Joseph’s with their outreach work. On this recent visit the students saw the brick building that had been built to house about six families and delighted in the fact that all the children were able to wear the shoes and clothes that had been taken out with them. Other donations included handmade baby hats funded by our pupils and an amazing array of coloured pencils and simple toys.
The expedition finished with visits to the Taj Mahal in Agra, the Amber Fort in Jaipur, yoga classes at Rishikesh, watching the mighty Ganges and back to Delhi to see India Gate and Gandhi’s museum. Reflecting after the trip, Upper Sixth student Josie Andrews said this, “the trip was life changing. It really made you think about the fact that we have so much, and other people have so little.” The Sixth Form students at Alton Convent School all have the opportunity to join in this amazing experience as well as visits to New York, Amsterdam, and Lourdes with Handicapped Children’s Pilgrimage Trust.
If you would like to find out what life in our Sixth Form is like then please do join us for our Open Evening on Wednesday 16th November at 6.30pm. We are also holding a Taster Day for girls who are interested on Friday 18th November. Please email Sally Pigott at firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest.