Students plan to build school in Africa

Reegan Weber, Staff Writer

Eight Patriots will travel to Malawi this summer to build a school with hopes of increasing education rates there.
In August, the students will fly to Malawi, South Africa where they will build a school for an impoverished community for two weeks through a program called “Build-On”. The travel group consists of sophomores Quinlan Gray, David Morris, Melody Behan, Toshin Rao, Ty Aramaki, Brian Fitzgerald, Ian Kirksey, and Cassidy Hay.
“The purpose is to build a school for the Malawi kids but it’s also an amazing experience for us because we’ll get to experience a different culture that is completely unlike anything here,” Hay said.
Build-On is a movement that encourages youth community service to increase education rates in the poorest countries around the world. In preparation for their trip, the travel group is currently raising money to fund their trip.
The students will stay in the Malawi village for five days where they will build for four to five hours each morning. After that, the trip is theirs to explore Malawi. They even have plans to go on an African safari.
“When we’re not working, we can walk around the village, go on a hike, meet the natives–stuff like that,” Hay said.
Traveling to a separate continent is nothing new for these students. Last year over spring break, this same group traveled to Nepal to build a school.
“Last years’ experience in Nepal with my friends was amazing so I’m really looking forward to Africa so we can have fun while doing something good,” Gray said.
Similarly to Nepal, two to three students will stay in each host family’s house which will allow them the opportunity to experience the culture first-hand.
“In Nepal, we were thrown into their life and had to learn to adapt,” Behan said. “It was amazing and taught me to appreciate everything I have.”