In the News

Harambee Run from Leipzig to Berlin

14.05.2017

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Joseph Mbamba at Leipzig International School

30. April 2015

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MCP Dinner at Heidelberg International School

Rhein Neckar Zeitung, 30. November 2011

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MCP Midsummer Challenge

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Neckar Challenge

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Donkey Race

Namibian Sun, 6 August 2014

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Solar Cooker

Informanté, 17 to 23 July 2014

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Headshave Fundraiser

Gloucestershire Echo, 13 December 2013

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Art Workshop Swakopmund

Namib Times, 14 June 2012

Images Art workshop Swakop 2012

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Sand Sculpture Competion Swakopmund

CAS Trip 2012

Images Sand sculpture Swakop 2012

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Toiling instead of Chilling

by Erik Barrett

While others were enjoying their summer at the outdoor pool, Erik was mixing cement with his hands. Under the burning sun in Namibia, he learned a lot about the country and its people, but also about himself 

Over the summer, I made a trip with an organisation that I had been introduced to through my school, Make Change Possible e.V. (MCP). The school had hosted a dinner for MCP, where students that had taken the trip last year and the adult chaperone, Monika Handwerker, had explained to the audience about their experience and what they did while they were there. Immediately after this night, I knew that I wanted to go, and signed up. I signed up, but I really had no idea what kind of a ride I was in for when I left.

It was explained from the very start of signing up for the project that it was a lot of work. It was going to be a lot of work to get the funds raised and to prepare for the trip, especially because I had no idea what I wanted to do. I wasn’t aware of what kind of work I liked to do, beyond something physical, especially because this was the first time I had ever gone out and sought out to help others, aside from working at the homeless shelter around Thanksgiving in the United States. However, after hearing about the Mayana Preschool, and how their classrooms had not enough space and too many class materials such as desks and books, I knew that I wanted to help out with the construction of a storeroom for the school.

So, on 30 June 2012, I stepped onto a plane to Windhoek Namibia, where I would stay for the day, and then leave the next morning with the full intention of making it to Mayana, which was about a ten-hour drive. Mayana is about twenty kilometres from Rundu, the nearest town with grocery stores and supplies. I had no idea what to expect, especially not in terms of landscape, people, sights, what I’d be working on, the living conditions, I really hadn’t had any idea, so I couldn’t have possibly prepared myself for what was to come. My idea of preparing was telling myself, “Hey, you’re going to Africa, get ready to work!” But in all actuality, I made a lot of friends and some of my best memories are from Mayana.

When we started the trip from Windhoek to Mayana the next day, the roads there were as straight as any road I’ve ever seen. Not only were the roads straight, they went on for as far as the eye can see. They call Namibia the “land of wide open spaces”, and to be honest, it was the most open place I’ve ever been to.

Once we made it past what we on the trip through the Kalahari referred to as “the gate”, everything rapidly changed. You couldn’t see for kilometres in any direction anymore, but rather only forwards and backwards along the road, as the vegetation was too thick to see through on each side. The plants and trees were much livelier here, and there were more people living here. We witnessed children making their way home from school, making their way to the water hole to get water for the day, children bringing back reeds or thatch to fix their homes with. The homes weren’t what we would think of when we hear home, but something else entirely. The walls were cow manure and water mixed to make a sort of plaster. The roof was simply thatching that was bound tightly. The people that lived in these houses have to spend each winter, the “dry season”, repairing their homes, fixing whatever was broken during the previous summer, or “wet season”. The kids that do all of that work also have to walk kilometers to school, sometimes upwards of five or six one-way. A lot of the children didn’t have proper footwear, and many were carrying siblings as well as all of their school supplies. It was something that really opened my eyes to the vast differences between our lives and theirs