‘Head, Hand, Heart’ in Swaziland

Swaziland 2018

By Lucy Ellis in 6.2

Over October half term, a group of sixteen 6.2 students and four teachers flew out to Swaziland to work with Othandweni Primary School. In the months leading up to the trip, we each came up with fundraising activities – some were more adventurous than others (skydiving vs. ice cream selling), but we managed to raise the amount of money necessary to buy our supplies.

At Othandweni, we partnered with SKRUM, a charity working to improve schools throughout Swaziland. They helped us with our main project, which was the digging of a trench for water pipes. This trench ran for 250 meters through the school and connected to a newly installed solar powered water pump lifting water from 45 meters underground through a borehole – dug with the money we raised earlier in the year. Unfortunately, our final days working at the school were accompanied by clouds and persistent rain so we were unable to see the solar panel in action, but we have since received word that it is successfully pumping water throughout the school.

Our other large project was the painting of the five main school buildings. The colours of the school buildings had previously been red and yellow, but with Othandweni’s recent association with a local church, the colors were required to change to white and blue. In addition to these projects, we varnished, repainted and repaired around 100 desktops and frames. The loveliest part of these tasks was that the students from Othandweni volunteered alongside us and they obviously took pride in improving their school. They put us to shame, painting with precision and digging with a power none of us except maybe Maud could match!

On our last day at the school, they took part in a ceremony for us, which included traditional songs and dances. We were presented with small souvenirs as tokens of thanks, as well as a handmade card designed by a student.

Aside from our work at the school, we enjoyed waking up early to go on walks where we managed to see a family of hippos swimming together, a sight we didn’t realise until later was quite rare around those parts. We also had one free day at the end of the trip where we had the chance to go on a horseback ride or cycle through the game reserve, and later in the day we visited a local crafts market to pick up small handmade souvenirs.

It was truly amazing to feel we had made a difference at the school, and we were so lucky to have the unique chance to get to know the warm and welcoming children and adults in a culture so different to ours. The swarms of tiny high fives and hugs as we were leaving Othandweni were enough to make any of us return at the next possible opportunity.

Advertisements

Bedales meets Swaziland

dsc_0099

By Lindsey Lithgow, Teacher of Chemistry

Swaziland is currently suffering from a wide spread drought and the lack of availability of water in rural areas is having a major effect on the people who live there. Over October half term, 25 6.2s went to Swaziland to work with the rural Ngwenyameni School to install a water system which allows the school to access the more reliable underground supplies of water.

dsc_0079The school was introduced to us by SKRUM, a local charity that works in sport and HIV education in over 800 schools in Swaziland. Bedales students raised money over ten months before the trip and saw this money being used to provide a solar powered water pump. Alongside pupils from Ngwenyameni School, Bedales students dug out the trenches for the new pipes and improved the environment in which the children learn by painting the classrooms and upcycling over 80 desks which were found in storage in an unusable state.

The new water supply will aid in the teaching of agriculture at the school, and a new field was ploughed and fruit trees planted – which the school was very keen to have. The Bedalians on the trip also spent time playing with and getting to know the children at Ngwneyameni. On our final day at the school, all of the pupils and teachers gathered outside to watch the Ngwenyameni vs Bedales football match. It was an intense game, ending with a 3-1 victory to Ngwneyameni. Football is very popular at the school and we paid for some new sports equipment from the monies raised. It was a very busy ten days in which the 6.2s enjoyed time in the beautiful country of Swaziland and were able to see the difference the money they had raised will make to Ngwenyameni School.

Steephurst Christmas Fair raises funds for Swaziland

IMG_3029This year’s Steephurst Christmas Fair in aid of Swaziland funds was another resounding success. The event is organised by Flat Council and some of the students hoping to go to Swaziland in 2015. Over the weekend Steephurst kitchen was filled with wonderful smells of delicious baking. The cakes quickly disappeared as soon as the doors opened, and the nail varnish and Henna stalls were busy for the whole time. Fortune Tellers had queues out the door with people waiting to have their tea leaves read, and hot chocolate and pop corn proved popular as did the wonderful face painting. In just under an hour we managed to raise £244.06 a fantastic achievement and great fun too. In addition to this, the Candy Cane sales managed to raise £650 towards the Swaziland fund: well done to all involved.

IMG_3040  IMG_3053

By Jenni Brittain, Teacher of Drama and Housemistress


Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.

Striking culture change for Sixth Formers in Swaziland

P1040352

During half term students in 6.1 and 6.2 flew into Johannesburg, South Africa, from where we drove, via a rhino and ostrich populated petrol station, into Swaziland. If not shocked by the beautiful landscape, birds and purple jacaranda trees, the culture change was really, quite striking. From working in a wonderful but rather poor school to food shopping in a westernised, built up shopping centre. Then a traditional Swazi craft market and glass factory to driving through hillsides of impala and dilapidated houses. There was so much to see. In amongst teaching lessons and learning lessons in the primary school Mkhuzweni, we focused primarily on digging trenches and laying pipes for water from the top of the hill to the bottom, painting a classroom and meeting the community. The plan is to continue with the fundraising we started before we went and also raise awareness through Amnesty for a man unjustly imprisoned and look at the current human rights issues that Swaziland is facing as an absolute monarchy.

By Clare Denning, 6.1


Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.

Wearing pink for Swaziland

Recently, the Swazi team ran a fundraiser in order to raise money for our worthwhile cause in Swaziland and to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the well-known film Mean Girls. Everywhere you looked, Bedales was scattered with pink, from pink hair accessories, to complete pink outfits. Even staff, including some male teachers, joined in. At such short notice, the day was a raging success and it was great to see the whole school pulling together for such a fantastic cause. The total raised for Swaziland was £473. Well done Bedales! After all, “on Wednesdays we wear pink”.

By  Leonora Hardman, 6.1

*************************************************************************************************

Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.

Sixth Formers help schools in Swaziland

For the sixth year running, Bedales students travelled to Swaziland over half term to help various projects in schools and orphanages. In the months prior to the visit, the students worked hard to raise money to fund the work, raising £32,000. The 20 sixth formers and four teachers began the week’s visit at Mbalenhle School, which has come a long way since Bedales first helped to install running water in 2007. This year the students helped with the development of four new staff quarters and a new Home Economics classroom. The students then went on to help install water at two schools in the rural central north of the country. The money they raised was spent on drilling and commissioning a 150m bore hole, buying pipes, a 10,000 litre tank, paint and much other equipment and resources needed for the project work. Read more. View photos: Album 1 and Album 2.

Sixth Formers help schools in Swaziland

*************************************************************************************************

Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.

Students raise £22,526 for Swaziland

At the end of last term a student team ran a silent auction to raise money for Bedales Swaziland Project. Every year some Bedales students go to Swaziland to help build and improve Mbalenhle Primary School – and I am part of the group going at half term. In the past a library has been built and equipped, running water installed and the school repainted. I am now delighted to say that, because of the generous donations of many people and the kind bids of many others, we have raised £22,526. Thank you to all those who bid, donated and helped; this is an absolutely wonderful total and wouldn’t have been possible without so much support. I am thrilled as this will enable us to do lots of work with the school in Swaziland. But more can still be done – and we are doing a sponsored walk on Sunday to try and raise more funds. If you would like to support the project please go to our JustGiving page. If you have made a bid on an item and have yet to pay for and claim it then please email perryju@bedales.org.uk.

By Juliette Perry, 6.1

*************************************************************************************************

Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.