Nine pupils from Brechin High School had the opportunity of lifetime during the October holidays, when they visited Rwanda.
They were accompanied on the trip by High School rector Archie Bathgate and Mrs Gray, one of the teachers.
The purpose of the trip was to visit both those affected by the genocide and also the street kids.
The group stayed in a guest house in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, and with staff visited communities to work alongside other volunteers involved in a variety of projects.
Pupils helped many street kids’ projects, but the one that they were involved with most was the Bastinda Street Kids, providing them with houses, beds, mosquito nets, clothes and meals. They also got the chance to take part in valuable field work, house repairs and cattle projects. All were in aid of helping those who had lived through the Rwandan Genocide, either as victims or as perpetrators.
It was a life- changing experience for all who took part.
Leanne Stewart said: “When I compared my life to theirs, it made me realise that I was always asking for things that I didn’t actually need. Also, that many of us take too much for granted.”
Pupils were rewarded for all their hard work with some sight-seeing while there, visiting the Akagera Safari Park and going on a boat trip to Bat Island.
During this time they were able to relax and enjoy some time without having to worry about getting as much done for someone as they could. They got to see a variety of different animals on the safari including elephants, zebra and hippopotamus.
At bat Island they got to swim around the edge of the island and then walk up into the trees to awaken the bats and have them fly all around them. It was an amazing experience for all.
Leanne added that she would recommend this trip to others, describing it as an “unbelievable experience that changes lives and definitely gives you a perspective on things”.
She continued: “It allows you to experience a different culture and way of life, but also to meet some of the most incredible people.
‘‘The trip has changed and inspired me and I hope others get the chance to experience the emotions and values that I did.”