Students through slavery roots in Gambia

PUBLISHED: 07:00 29 May 2012 | UPDATED: 10:19 06 June 2012

Weston College students on their trip to Gambia.

Weston College students on their trip to Gambia.

Weston College

TWENTY Weston College students spent a week in one of the world’s poorest countries, leaving money behind to help with the children’s education.

The students from the tourism management and travel and tourism courses, travelled to Gambia, west Africa, to see how tourism operates in a third world country.

Before they left, £500 was raised to buy stationery, pens and to pay for four pupil’s education for a year at the Luton Ayr volunteer school in Serrakunda, previously visited by Weston College students.

Student, Jasmine Chopra, said: “The local people are proud of their heritage and so there is little compromise when it comes to authenticity, even in the company of tourists.”

The students also brought much-needed sports equipment and pumps which were donated by the college to be split between the school and the Gamstar Sports Academy which the college has developed links with.

One of the highlights of the visit was the Roots Tour journey that writer Alex Haley made to trace his slave ancestry that became a famous book and TV series. The group spent the day travelling from one heritage site to another, discovering the brutal realities of the slave trade.

Andy Alton, course manager for tourism management, said: “This type of trip is potentially life changing for both the students and the school we visited.

“To visit a school that is nothing but a cow shed with desks in is itself humbling, especially when we place so much emphasis on the latest gadgets that in reality mean little or nothing compared to the poverty that these children both live and learn in.”

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