“A life-changing trip” was how Perth High School teacher Lauren McAdam described the journey by 25 pupils and staff to an impoverished part of South Africa.
Perth High has a long-standing link with Bongani High which is situated in Douglas, with staff and pupils from both schools making regular exchange trips.
Over the years, the Perth visitors have also taken gifts – including educational items – which have benefited the Bongani pupils.
Among the gifts on the latest trip were footballs and frisbees.
“The pupils who went to South Africa were all from S6 and it truly was a trip they will not forget,” said Lauren.
“The same applies to the members of staff.
“We got a great welcome when we arrived, with a marching band leading us through the streets.
“Our kids paired up with Bongani pupils and attended lessons.
“Among the classes they attended were ones where the Afrikaans language is spoken.
“The Douglas pupils have little in the way of the kind of home comforts we enjoy and it was a joy to be able to help them by bringing them gifts and forming friendships with them.”
Lauren added: “We stayed in hostel accommodation and, as well as getting involved in classes, we did a bit of sightseeing.
“We went to the top of Table Mountain in Cape Town and also went on a game drive where we saw giraffes, rhinos, warthogs and springboks.”
Fellow teacher Margo Feron said: “The Bongani faculty regards Perth High as an important link. The twinning of the two schools helps significantly in the development of the Bongani pupils.”