Ballard students have returned from a unique volunteering experience in Kenya

Students from Ballard School in New Milton dedicated one month of their holidays to help Kenyans living in severe poverty

As part of a Camps International expedition, Deborah Hurdle Head of English and Nick Hall Head of Science at Ballard School, supervised an African expedition for 10 of the school’s pupils. As a result of two years of intense fundraising efforts, such as washing cars, bakes sales, and sponsored silences, the institution was able to raise the sum needed to make the trip to Kenya. During their expedition, the students provided resources and constructed facilities to help alleviate the struggles faced by Kenyans who live in severe poverty. The expedition covered a 4-week timeframe.

The first 12 days of the journey were spent in the Safari of Tsavo East and consisted of activities designed to improve the locals’ living and learning conditions. Among their day-to-day activities, the students experienced deworming goats, building a new classroom for a local secondary school and working on elephant deterrents to help protect the farmers’ crops from the devastation of migrating elephants.

Moving forward on their expedition, the group stopped in Muhaka to act as benefactors for a family of 10. The central activity within this camp was the construction and decoration of a house to host the family. Mr Hall and Mrs Hurdle worked alongside pupils to complete the build, paint the house and lay the floors. After the construction was finalized, the rest of the funds were attributed to buying mattresses and bedding, clothing, shoes, pans, paraffin lamps and food.

Ballard School’s Kenyan adventure approached an end in Shimoni where the team completed a PADI qualification (Professional Association of Diving Instructors). The students and their two supervisors took a 4 days diving course and successfully passed the final exam which provided them with the desired qualification.

Deborah Hurdle, Head of English, said:

“It was an amazing month of working tirelessly in basic conditions and intense heat but we did not lose our optimism and sense of humour at any point. Besides the strenuous work, we enjoyed epic football matches, card games, campfires and an awful lot of laughter. The great work ethic of the students and their determination to go the extra mile impressed the local project leaders and offered a Kenyan family the chance of a better life. Mr Hall and I couldn’t be prouder of the fantastic achievements of our students.”

Ballard School is a non-selective co-educational independent school that provides an all-round bespoke education for children between 2 and 16 years old. Located in New Milton, Hampshire, right on the edge of the New Forest, Ballard prides itself on being a ‘family school’.

For more information about the Ballard School, please visit

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