ACS Cobham International School

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Namibia Trip 2018

This summer, twenty-one Grade 11 students from ACS Cobham spent a month of their summer holiday in Namibia on a World Challenge expedition to enhance life skills such as teamwork, risk management, communication, negotiation, leadership and money management.

At ACS, we use this expedition as a Service Learning trip – it isn’t just about raising money for The Namibia Project. Our students get valuable learnings and experiences out of it as well.

According to Janet S. Eyler from the Vanderbilt University, Service Learning is a form of experiential education where learning occurs through a cycle of action and reflection, as students seek to achieve real objectives for the community and achieve deeper understanding and new skills for themselves.

During the school year, the team had weekly meetings where they organised fundraising and started making plans for the projects, setting themselves realistic goals. 

Rob Surminski, IB Dutch teacher and teacher leader of this year’s expedition said:

It was a great group of students who went through stressful situations together. After 'forming, storming and norming’ the group reached the ‘performing’ stage where hardwork lead, without friction, to the achievement of the team’s goals.

Project phase

During the school year, the students had prepared projects at three different locations in Namibia. NaDEET, Kutenhoas Primary School and Dr. Alpo Secondary School were visited. In NaDEET, the team learned about the conservation of Namibia’s environment through learning about a sustainable lifestyle. At Kutenhoas, the students worked on projects, such as creating educational murals, teaching and organising a sports day.

At Dr. Alpo, the students not only finally met their pen pals they had been exchanging emails with during the year, but they also took part in different activities during the cultural exchange. The students from both schools spent time together both inside and outside of the classroom – visiting a local market and a living museum.

Trek phase

The students from this year’s team decided they wanted to do the Fish River Canyon Mule trail hike. It is a popular trekking route, chosen by most of the previous ACS teams. During the 5-day hike, without any phone signal or wifi, the students covered a distance of 30 kilometres. During the five days the team didn’t meet another single human being!

Rest & relaxation phase

Organising activities, haggling prices, making (or confirming bookings) and talking with the driver to get the whole team organised was also a part of the trip. Sandboarding in Swakopmund, a seal cruise in Walvisbay, the safari in Etosha, Ziplining at the Victoria Waterfalls – you name it and the team managed to organise it all.

After the trip one of the students said:

Namibia was an unforgettable trip. Thank you to everyone who made it even more special.

If you are interested to learn more about the ACS Namibia Project, please contact Rob Surminski at rsurminski@acs-schools.com or Tasha Arnold at tarnold@acs-schools.com

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