At the start of term Lancing pupils walked together across the South Downs to raise funds for the College's longstanding projects in Malawi. The 12-mile walk always takes place on the first Saturday of the Advent Term, and it involves pupils, staff and families, who all come together for a great cause. In 2019 so far we have raised over £18,000: over half of this amount has been donated to pay for school fees for the students we support from the Open Arms orphanage. A further sum has gone towards the completion of a new rural clinic in the villages of Chuma and Kumanda.
Head Master Dominic Oliver commented: 'As we walk, Lancing is a community that extends well beyond the bounds of the Sussex Downs; we all do it together, with the main aim to raise money but also in solidarity with one another and with the young people we support in Malawi.'
Alongside the annual walk, Lancing pupils participate in a biennial six-week trip to Malawi to visit the charities we support and get involved with building and refurbishment projects. Next summer's cohort was selected in May 2019 and includes 20 pupils, ten boys and ten girls, from the Lower and Upper Sixth Form. One of the expeditioners' projects would be to help paint the new clinic.
Expeditioner Barney H says:
'One reason for applying to be part of the Malawi expedition is certainly its significance and impact, and it's amazing to think that my school is offering such an opportunity. I have seen incredible photos of past Malawi trips: I admired not only the beautiful sunsets and locations, but above all I could see the joy of the expeditioners and of the children they met on the trip. I want to live the experience, not just see it through pictures. I also have so many great friends going on the trip with me which will make it even more special: being able to spend some of the most incredible weeks of my life with my best friends.'
Lower Sixth Former Alicia H adds:
'I was delighted to be selected for the 2020 Malawi trip. Ever since my first week at Lancing I have been captivated by stories of previous expeditions, stories of the warmth and welcome that the Malawian people have shown, of the life-changing experiences that the students have lived, and of the bonds which have been forged between our two communities.
This is a fantastic opportunity to help make a difference to the communities we visit; not just in a practical way, but also on an emotional level by showing them that we care. I am particularly looking forward to visiting the Open Arms charity, spending time with the little ones and hopefully helping them to create happy memories in a less than perfect childhood.
I know that this trip will take me out of my comfort zone and there will be challenges along the way, but by overcoming these challenges we will become better and stronger people, so I am hoping to gain a lot from this experience.
I am lucky enough to have travelled to other countries in the less developed world, and whilst I have visited similar places and have been invited into the homes of local people, I have always had a lovely hotel to return to. Something tells me that this time will be different!'
Forty nationalities are represented in the school, but really we should be thinking of 41: Malawi and its children are both a spiritual and tangible part of the Lancing whole.
Dominic Oliver, Head Master