A group of students and staff from West Hatch High School have just returned from a “life changing” trip having spent 4 weeks on an expedition through the Borneo jungle and wilderness.

The experience was co-ordinated by Camps International which organises ethical and
sustainable school expeditions across Africa, Asia and South America to help students understand the day-to-day challenges that the rural communities in these regions face and sees them work on projects which transform communities.

The 31 strong group named themselves ‘Team Gouton’ which translates to Team Jungle. They took part in a grueling 23km jungle trek through the Bornean state of Sabah which took 5 days to complete and also had the opportunity to travel around the world’s largest island where they visited four main camps which included Batu-Puteh, Tinangol and Bongkud. A highlight of the trip was a visit to the world-renowned Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary where they met orphaned and injured orangutans before they are released back into the wild.

Community Spirit

The group contributed to many local community projects such as laying foundations for a community centre, teaching English to local primary school children, the re-forestation of trees in the rainforest and manually tarmacking volleyball courts. The visit also helped the locals overcome significant issues including access to education, clean water and housing.

Student Angela Power-Healy from year 13 said: “It was a life-changing experience that makes me appreciate everything so much more.”
Fellow student Eleanor Yarwood, also year 13 said the trip was “the best adventure of a lifetime” while Harry Wagstaff described the trip as: “A once-in-a-lifetime experience, I made many new friendships and shared some great experience with great people.”
Group leader Ellen Scott said: “This expedition will stay with the pupils forever, with many unforgettable memories made. They have challenged themselves every day and to know that as a school we have help to develop communities, planted over 200 trees back into the rainforest and survived in rainforest conditions is truly remarkable. We have definitely made a telling impact.”


West Hatch High School Open Days

The next open evening for West Hatch High School is on Wednesday 27th September 2017.

Visit www.westhatch.essex.sch.uk for more information.


Search for secondary school open days in Chigwell, Essex here.