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Brick by brick building in Kenya with Habitat for Humanity

Posted on: 29th March 2018 | Category: Boarding life, Commitment to communities, Trips and excursions

In March 2018, nineteen Surval students who wanted to make a family’s life better, went to Kenya to do just that.

Each year the Liberal Arts students pack and move to Homa Bay for two weeks of physical yet rewarding work: to build a house for a family in need with Habitat for Humanity. This lifechanging experience will last a lifetime for all of those involved: working alongside the family, seeing the house walls develop and dedicating the house at the end, are memories one will never forget.

The experience begins months before the departure date, with dedicated fundraising, whether it is babysitting, cake sales or even teaching younger children the group show their commitment to the community a long time before the building, which the whole school gets involved in. Then on site the young women work hard, digging, mixing cement, making concrete, cutting wire, passing the bricks, filling the bricks, collecting water and the list continues. This physically demanding work is made easier as the group work as a team: with the group always remembering why they are there and who they are helping.

"I was surprised that the woman we were building the house for was a widow with six children. The roof of her small house had been destroyed by the wind.  I started imagining how difficult and hard it was for her to find food for all of them, because she didn’t have a job, and lived in such a small house where they didn’t have a proper place to sleep, eat, or for their kids to do homework. Seeing these conditions was a real motivation for me and all of our group to build the house and work hard." Daniela from Guatemala explains in her Student Blog.

Surval staff and the local community who are supporting the group get as much from this experience as anyone else, "today was our last full day of work and yet again, the group exceeded the expectations of James (Habitat for Humanity) and the local builders. Now that the walls are above head-height, we have to use scaffolding and progress is a little slower, yet we still managed to put up another three rows" wrote Mrs Geldard in the last week. You can read the Staff Blog here to see how well the girls did each day.

It was a fantastic opportunity and one that will stay with Surval for many years to come. Bring on 2019!

To view more photographs, please visit our Photo Gallery of Kenya

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