Twenty five West Norfolk students are on their way to Thailand to care for rescued elephants and teach school children about climate change.
The pupils at Springwood High School in King’s Lynn are heading out there as part of a two-week Global Citizenship Chalelnge.
They will fly out to Bangkok before moving onto Chiang Mai to work with pupils at Ben Kupuang School in Mae Sariang to help them learn more about the environment and improve their English.
The Springwood pupils will also take part in community clear ups and tree-planting projects.
For week two, they move to hailand’s famous Elephant Nature Park where over 100 elephants share a home with other rescued animals, such as cats, dogs and buffaloes.
The group will help care for the sanctuary’s residents, looking after their environment, preparing their food, feeding them, and even taking some for walks, while learning about both animal welfare and sustainable tourism.
It won’t be all work and no play, however, as the trip will also give the students a taste of Thai culture, with excursions to religious and historical sites, such as temples and Chiang Mai Old Town, plus time to relax with movie nights and trips to local restaurants.
Springwood student George Pooley said: “Not only will I now be able to go and see this amazing country, but we will also get to try new Thai food and meet the local people, which will allow us to get a feel for the way of living in Thailand and to learn some of the language spoken there.
“My aims for the trip are to gain a better understanding of the local community and way of life, and to help the people living there.”
Fellow student Zara Bek added: “I’m hoping to continue to grow my confidence levels both in myself and in my ability to work as part of a team to make a tangible difference.
“I hope to gain memories of a fantastic experience in another country, as well as the knowledge that, as a group, we have made an impact. It’s a valuable experience after A Levels that will help me with life going forward.”
*Images Ian Burt