Out of Africa for link visit

Makumbi visit sept 2011
Makumbi visit sept 2011
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Two African teachers have visited Derbyshire to celebrate links with a school more than 5,000 miles away.

Children at Barlborough Hall School strengthened their relationship with Makumbi, in Zimbabwe, by inviting village teachers Mr Mwedzi and Mr Sambare for a ten-day visit as part of an exchange programme.

They spent time with pupils and staff, teaching lessons, exchanging ideas and celebrating the traditional African culture through music.

For the school’s assembly, all pupils and teachers entered into the spirit of the occasion by swapping their usual uniform for red, yellow, green and black clothes – the national colours of the country.

School fundraising activities for Makumbi took place before the visit and gifts were also exchanged at the parents’ assembly.

Barlborough has been linked with Makumbi since 2003 as part of the Jesuit Missions’ Companions Programme, which links Jesuit schools in England with deprived schools in Africa.

Since then, pupils have exchanged pictures, stories, news and letters with fellow students

Wanda Parkinson, headteacher at Barlborough Hall School, said: “Our relationship with Makumbi has grown over the years which has been a fantastic opportunity for the children to learn from others across the world and to share a common spiritual inheritance.

“It was wonderful to welcome Mr Mwedzi and Mr Sambare to Barlborough for the visit and they were also able to take home with them many new teaching and educational ideas.

“The assembly was such a colourful spectacle with everyone involved thoroughly enjoying themselves.”

It is hoped that Barlborough teachers will visit Zimbabwe next year.