What does it take to change the world? For a group of five British International School of Boston (BISB) students, it takes 20 hours on a plane, two weeks in Tanzania, and $16,000.
The students and two teachers from the Jamaica Plain school will be traveling to the African country in February, working to repair and renovate a primary school and to bring sustainable farming practices to the remote Maasai village, Ensare Sero.
Leading up to their departure, the high school students will be hard at work raising the funds they need to support their service work abroad.
“Education is really the foundation for a strong society,” said BISB student Teal Fechtor-Pradines, who is part of the service trip. “It’s really nice to know that we are playing a small part in helping to build that foundation.”
The trip marks the second year the British International School of Boston has sent students to Tanzania as part of a global project from the Nord Anglia Education network of 31 international schools, to which BISB belongs.
This year, the Boston school is working to expand their work in the country- a goal that will require raising about $16,000.
The expanded project will send BISB students to a remote village near Tanzania’s Lake Natron, where they will partner with Summits Africa to bring sustainable farming practices to the region.
The goal of the project, students said, is to ensure that the sustainable practices put in place do not end when the volunteers leave, and that agriculture can serve as a new, ongoing source of food and income for the village.
The service work will be life-changing for the BISB students, said high school teacher and trip coordinator Ruth Williams. Not only will the students be able to work with the village residents, they’ll have the rare opportunity to be a part of a program’s development and learn how to develop such programs responsibly.
The students will learn that “focused efforts can bring real, sustainable development to all participants - local villagers and BISB students - through shared and realizable goals,’ said Williams.
To make the expanded project a reality, the students are raising the more than $16,000 needed for seeds, farming equipment and a permaculture expert to advise on sustainable farming practices.
To raise the money, students have organized in-school fundraisers and are seeking business sponsors for their service work abroad.
A Crowdrise fundraising website has also been set up to help the students reach their fundraising goal. To learn more about the students’ service work and to donate, visit www.crowdrise.com/BISBTanzaniaFund.