Team returns from Sierra Leone trip

Members of the party who visited Sierra Leone, together with some of the locals
Members of the party who visited Sierra Leone, together with some of the locals

A TEAM of teachers and specialists spent a week sharing their expertise in Hastings’ twin town in Sierra Leone.

The party, which included an engineer, waste experts and a mental health practitioner worked with locals in the impoverished west African state to help improve their lives.

Roger Mitchell, former William Parker headteacher, was part of the team.

He said: “Our party returned from temperatures in the high 30s to those below zero but with memories of wonderful hospitality, life-changing experiences and the satisfaction of knowing that the trip had been thoroughly worthwhile.

“The waste management team, led by Hastings Borough Council’s Richard Homewood, oversaw the construction of composting and recycling facilities, and the building of four bio-digesters, using simple, locally available equipment.

“The education team had spent the week in the seven schools that are partnered with schools in Hastings and St Leonards, sharing expertise and materials.

“Teachers returned full of ideas of how our children could benefit from their first-hand experiences of life in a developing country.”

Several more schools in Hastings, Sierra Leone, are hoping to develop links with other schools in 1066 Country.

The whole party took part in a day-long conference arranged at the British Council in Freetown focusing on the care of the environment and management of waste.

Mr Mitchell added: “The week was not all work and we were able to relax by exploring some of the glorious beaches and the waters of the Atlantic nearby.

“There was a Thanksgiving service held in one of the schools and a candlelit procession and celebration at the Twin Town Centre to mark the fifth anniversary of the Hastings Sierra Leone Friendship Link twinning on Valentine’s Day 2007.”

The Twin Town Centre was the venue for a farewell party.

In May a party of teachers from Hastings, Sierra Leone will be visiting 1066 Country.