Rwanda beckons for trip of a lifetime for Kirkcaldy High pupils

From left: rear Ben Saunders, Gavin Cook, Paul Murray, Kieron Pryce, Ltr Front Suzie Mahr, Gillian Cunningham, Sophie McIntyre, Zaynan Galbraith, Lauren McDaniel. Pic: George McLuskie.
From left: rear Ben Saunders, Gavin Cook, Paul Murray, Kieron Pryce, Ltr Front Suzie Mahr, Gillian Cunningham, Sophie McIntyre, Zaynan Galbraith, Lauren McDaniel. Pic: George McLuskie.

Senior pupils from Kirkcaldy High are set to experience the trip of a lifetime when they embark on an educational trip to Rwanda this month.

Nine pupils and three staff members will be heading to east-central Africa on Friday, September 27 for two weeks.

They are: Ben Saunders, Gavin Cook, Bill Murray, Kieron Pryce, Suzie Mahr, Gillian Cunningham, Sophie McIntyre, Zaynan Galbraith, Lauren Daniels, Esha Aslam, Dominika Kaliszuk Valente and Hannah Denholm.

This will be the sixth visit for Suzie Mahr, who teaches religious and moral education (RME) at the school – but this will be the first time pupils will have the opportunity to find out first-hand what life is like for young people in Rwanda.

The visit has been arranged by Kirkcaldy High with Comfort International, a charity set up 20 years ago to help those in the war-torn country who have been affected by poverty, genocide and conflict, to rebuild their lives.

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Suzie said: “This will be the first trip to Rwanda with pupils which came about through my links.

“We have always been linked with Comfort International since 2008 and this trip will see us working on projects with Comfort International and the Groupe Scolaire Bumbogo school in Rwanda.

“We will be visiting the Street Kids Rescue Project and the pupils will be running workshops on sports, games, crafts and music.

“Kieron Pryce is our Active Schools Ambassador and he and Gavin Cook are our sporting links on the team - Gavin is really keen to teach the street kids rugby.

“Another project we will be working on is our Comfort Babies scheme - we have taken over lots of donations for this on previous trips. This time we have some knitted blankets we are taking which have been made by Kelty Community Centre.”

Suzie said the pupils will also be doing workshops in the Groupe Scolaire Bumbogo school.

They will take part in lessons, and also teach the Scots language to young people in Rwanda.

She continued: “We are also planning to visit genocide memorial sites and this will probably be the toughest part of the trip. It will be good for them to see how Rwanda has bounced back from 1994 – this visit will have a massive impact.”

Kieron, whose place on the trip was sponsored by Fords Daly Legal, said: “I’m really looking forward to it. Having read about Rwanda and heard people’s stories it will be interesting to see it first-hand - seeing how they cope and survive with so little, yet are happy with what they have despite the challenges.”

Suzie said they are looking for donations of various items to take over to Rwanda with them and she appealed to anyone who can help. The team are looking for: cash donations, different coloured chalk, Biro pens (black or blue), loom bands and craft kits, trainers/shoes mainly for teenagers that are in good condition and football strips.