Meldrum Academy Rector Andrew Travis has spoke of his pride in a group of pupils who joined him in a mission to help build community facilities in the Gambia.
Mr Travis was the guest speaker at the Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum on Tuesday evening, where he told Rotarians of the academy’s link-up with the GAMSCOT charity, which aims to build links between Scotland and the West African country.
A group of 15 senior pupils and 3 members of staff travelled out to the Gambia in June last year, together with 2 pupils from the Gordon Schools, as the residential section for their Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards. Based in Bachau and Kerewan, the pupils performed a variety of tasks including repairing classrooms, constructing a wall, repairing a truck and setting up a computer centre.
During their stay, pupils went to visit the homes of local pupils. Despite being far away from the comforts of home - cooking on open fires, sleeping 18 to a room with one outside tap and no electricity - Mr Travis described the experience as ‘magical’. “People are the same the world over”, he said of the experience. “Perhaps the difference you make is small, but the biggest difference is within yourself.”