Pupils’ trip to Ghana lends new perspective

The Mearns Academy group in Ghana.
The Mearns Academy group in Ghana.

Living in this beautiful area of the world it is often easy to forget just how lucky we are to live such comfortable, easy lives.

But a group of Mearns Academy pupils were given a stark reminder of how fortunate they are when, in July, they travelled to Ghana to spend 10 days volunteering.

Eleven fifth and sixth year pupils travelled to the African country with two teachers where they visited an orphanage, as well as lending a hand in helping to construct a new home for orphans. They also visited a monkey sanctuary, as well as taking the time to learn about the customs and culture of the country.

Pupil Hannah Baxter said: “During our stay we found ourselves immersed in a different lifestyle, culture and language- a completely different world. We learnt how to make the traditional food of Ghana “Fu-fu” and how to eat it in the correct, unique manner.

“We also respected their way of life which meant dressing appropriately which we had help with from the local seamstresses. After we left, we left a selection of our old clothes to the orphans and also the locals. We also donated our 13 mosquito nets to the Eugemont Orphanage after we became aware that the children slept without them.

“Our trip to Ghana has changed our perceptions of life and our priorities have definitely changed. From having to live without straighteners to realising how lucky we are as we sit in school with pens and paper, this trip is one that none of us will ever forget.”

The trip has had such a profound effect that three of the pupils - Megan Cameron, and Kyra Steel and Hannah , are hoping to undertake a gap year with Project Trust after leaving school.

Hannah added: “I would like to mention Caitlin Park, who was unwell during our stay and had to stay in hospital. She kept positive minded and ensured the team spirit was high.”