The Wiltshire school organised the ten-day trip to a Romanian orphanage as part of ongoing project to support the Nightingales Children’s Project.
Dauntsey’s has been supporting the Nightingales Children’s Project project for more than ten years. Previously, pupils have funded a local Romanian girl through university, created a community café, built a play park at the community centre and sponsored Romanian girls for the ‘Girls at Risk’ programme.
The year, a group of lower-sixth pupils and staff spent ten days working with local street children and orphans. Pupils provided craft, sports, drama, dance and team-building activities. There were also parties and themed days for the orphanage children, most of whom live in poverty with complex emotional and sometimes behavioural problems.
To ensure the trip was a success, the pupils from Dauntsey’s started fundraising in January. They raised more than £11,000, which financed the week’s activities and will fund further projects at the orphanage.
This year the money was raised through a range of initiatives at the school including a 1920s themed charity auction; cake, crepe and chip sales; a car boot sale and sponsored leg waxing of members of staff.
‘The Nightingales Children’s Project holds a special place in our annual calendar,’ explained teacher Chris Tonkiss, who led the trip. ‘Over the last ten years, some 200 lower-sixth students have gained a huge amount from the cultural and emotional experience. Working with children and young people who are living in far less fortunate circumstances and conditions than themselves.
‘The pupils have done a wonderful job of raising money for this year’s trip. It was very rewarding to get back to the orphanage. We could see for ourselves how our past efforts are paying off, and decide how best to spend the new funds.’