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UK students overwhelmed after helping street children

UK students overwhelmed after helping street children
Highlights

Teenagers from Manchester visited the city last month to help the underprivileged. They share their experiences and learnings from the trip

Teenagers from Manchester visited the city last month to help the underprivileged. They share their experiences and learnings from the trip

It was a memorable week for underprivileged children in the city last month when they got an opportunity to interact with and share their joys and sorrows with students hailing from the United Kingdom.

More than a dozen teenagers from the Bolton School in Manchester travelled to Vijayawada and were part of the camp of a charity organisation--Street Kids Community Villagers (SKCV) Children’s Trust. Their aim was to help street children look forward to a bright future.

The SKCV project was founded to help street children rebuild their lives. The charity provides destitute children with homes in the form of a community village and offers them both medical care and education. The NGO also runs a drop-in centre, night shelter and informal schools for children who still live on the street.

Talking about her experience in the camp, Sarah Richards (17), one of the foreign students, said, “The trip was memorable. What moved me was the story of a brother and sister who saw their mother die in a fire that their father caused and the whole family was trapped inside the house — so the children had nothing. When they came to this NGO, they got food, education, friends — a new family, really.”

"They get a whole life. It’s so important that they have somewhere to go. Also, they really appreciate everything that they have — especially education,” she added.

"I think children in the UK don’t really realise how important education is. But in the camp they love it," Sarah exclaimed.Another student, Annie Linfitt (16), was enthused by the plight of the kids."It was a shock to realise the situations they had been in. There were also children with cigarette burns on their arms, which was horrible to think about.”

Their visit made the front page of the vernacular newspapers after a VIP welcome at the Kanaka Durga Temple. Francesca McDonand, aged 17, said, "It was really unexpected being on the front page of the newspaper."

Abbey Donnelly, aged 17, said, “We didn’t expect to get any recognition for it. We just went out there to help."As part of the trip, the students gifted stationary to the children. "We don’t want ours to be the last visit — we want it to go on and continue even after we’ve left," Annie said.The children’s visit hit the front page of vernacular newspapers as they received a VIP welcome at Kanaka Durga temple.

"It was really unexpected being on the front page of the newspaper. We didn’t expect to get any recognition for it — we just went out there to help," said 17-year-old Francesca McDonand. 18-year-old Katherine Potts summarised the trip as, “A life-changing experience and I have never done anything like this before."

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