Forging friendships and understanding across borders
In 2005, Fredrick Odhiambo, an English teacher at Agoro Oyombe school, near the shores of Lake Victoria, and West Buckland teacher, Matt Brimson, launched a partnership between the schools, with the purpose of allowing students from both schools to take part in joint curriculum projects in a number of subjects including geography, music and sport.
July 2013 saw the first West Buckland students visiting the school in Kenya, with eight Kenyan students coming to West Buckland School in return. Since then WBS students have visited in 2015 and 2018 and the next trip is planned for 2024.
During the trips, our students attended lessons with their Kenyan peers, took part in a whole school debate on technology, performed a song at the evening of culture and competed in sports fixtures in netball, football, volleyball and cross-country.
Both the Kenyan and UK students learnt much from each other, not least that they often share similar visions for the future. But our students also identified some of the stark differences and were proactive in initiating help with purchasing shoes, pencils, sanitary items for girls and a commitment to future support.
This is being done through the medium of the United Nations’ ‘Merit First’ initiative which encourages schools to take part in activities which help work towards the Sustainable Development Goals. At West Buckland, this is one of the remits of our International Society.
For more information about our links with Agoro Oyombe, please contact Head of Sixth Form, Matt Brimson.