Event Name : Kenya Trip
Date: April 5, 2014
Number of Participant Students: 6
Av. Service Hr per Student: 1 week
Description of the Event: During NJASCS Spring Break 8 students, 2 administrators and 1 parent traveled to Kenya as part of our Student in Action Project for 2014. Traveling to Kenya gave these students a wonderful opportunity to visit a 3rd world country and build on the 3 pillars of Student in Action: 1)Leadership 2) Engagement 3) Impact. In their travels they were able to visit orphanages, deliver toys and books as well as explore the country. It was a wonderful experience for our students who were able to learn about the culture and help those in need.
The Bergen Arts and Science Charter School 2013-2014 Kenya Trip was inevitably an eye-opening and memorable experience. In all honesty, I really didn’t have high hopes for it initially, and I was reluctant to go. I figured I would die from the heat, or some kind of disease, and I assumed that all we were going to do was sit down in a conference room and listen to lectures all day; boy, was I wrong. Looking back, I couldn’t be more relieved to have not passed up such an extraordinary opportunity like this. We were not only acquainted with amazing people, we were able to live life in someone else’s perspective, and it couldn’t have been more riveting. The distinction amongst America and Kenya was astonishing, not only environmental-wise, but educational, social, and cultural-wise. One of my fondest memories of the whole trip was when we visited the children in the orphanage; the story of how they lost the founder and caretaker, whom they referred to as “mama”, was extremely emotional and moving, and seeing how those kids had to relive the heartbreak of losing a guiding figure in their life, made me appreciate my family all the more. When we played with them, gave them gifts, and got to know them a bit more, we realized just how strong and supportive they are of each other, and how they never take a single moment in life for granted, and this is a quality I really admire. I have to say, it was really difficult to part with them that day. I feel so blessed to have had the chance to encounter this beautiful country, and beautiful people whom I’ve grown so fond of, and all of the smiles and appreciation we received really made everything worth it in the end. I want to acknowledge Dr. Demir, Mr. Yilmaz, my peers, and all of the coordinators for making this a truly life-changing experience. I can’t wait for this year’s trip!
Having had the opportunity to travel to Africa was something I will always be thankful for. My fellow peers and Ihad the chance to experience a different culture as well as mind set. We had the change to visit an orphanage and experience what a typical day was. I learned you don’t need materialistic things to make you happy. We had the chance to experience the food as well as the wild life. Going on a safari is something people dream of doing, and I had the chance to do so. Kenya was a trip I will never forget!