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First Visit To The Discovery Centre in Uganda

Two Sixth Form students and teaching staff travelled more than 4,000 miles miles to establish links between the Academy and an education centre in Uganda.

Students Ross Hay and Jordon Joseph, along with BHE teachers Kirsty Farrar and Dan Arnold attended a three-day conference at the Discovery Centre close to Lake Victoria in Uganda during the half term break.

And the visit to the African continent proved to be the experience of a lifetime.

Miss Farrar said: "It was just an amazing experience, which is hard to put into words. The place is so culturally different from life here in England, but at the same time you realize that the young people are experiencing many of the same

issues and concerns as young people here."

The Discovery centre is an residential  resource which was set up in 1994 in 

response to the AIDS situation in the country.

It is run in partnership with the Northamptonshire based Christian charity Adventure Projects Trust and Youth With A Mission Uganda.

It serves the schools in the surrounding villages and also provides recreational and sporting opportunities for those children who do not have the privilege of an education.

In Uganda families have to pay for their education and so only those with a modest income can afford schooling. Often there is just one teacher to 300 children and most lessons involve the teacher dictating information to the students.

The conference involved the CBA students and staff, along with the students from two other Northamptonshire secondary schools (Sponne School Technology College and William Parker School) and students from Uganda.

Topics discussed included Global Citizenship, Conflict Resolution and health care.

The CBA contingent also visited a series of schools for orphans, which had been set up by a local charity.

Miss Farrar said: "We went along to the schools that had been set up for orphans and chatted to the children.

"Most have been affected by HIV and AIDS in some way, but many of the young people told us that it is a fact of life that they have to deal with."

Jordon said: "It was an incredible experience - I want to return again next year."

The Sixth Form students won their place on the trip after putting together a presentation saying why they should go.

In order to pay for the trip to Uganda the team undertook a series of charity challenges. They completed a half marathon as well as organizing a race night and fete.

Mr Arnold said: "I was amazed at how happy people can be with so little and the visit put into perspective the things that we take for granted - like education."

The experience will be used to inform Miss Farrar's Sociology lessons.

Students will also be able be to view the team's video diaries in assemblies during the coming weeks.

To see more photos of the trip visit the Gallery section under the Academy tab on the website homepage.