Every year, Year 12 students at St Augustine’s Priory, Ealing, London W5 are encouraged to apply for the school’s Travel Scholarship, designed to give pupils an opportunity to go out into the wider world where they can make a difference.
This year, three pupils took advantage of the scholarship to make a difference in the lives of people
Inspired by her grandmother who has glaucoma, an eye condition that could lead to sight loss if left untreated, Simran travelled to the village of Chitrakoot in India to launch a Glaucoma Detection Camp for villagers in the surrounding area. Simran, who is 17 years old, volunteered at the local eye hospital and worked with hospital staff who guided and assisted her in launching her project.
‘Through the Travel Scholarship, I was able to help spread awareness of glaucoma,’ said Simran. ‘I am so thankful for this experience which was extremely enlightening’.
Prior to travelling, Simran raised enough money to put towards an annual outreach camp, which will involve a team of doctors and nurses going to surrounding villages and testing potential patients. These villagers will then receive any treatment they may need at the eye hospital and be transported back to their homes, free of charge.
‘The outreach camp is being named after my grandmother and this legacy will continue on through the family,’ a delighted Simran said. ‘I would like to thank St Augustine’s Priory for all the support they have given me and for granting me this wonderful opportunity to do something so amazing and make a difference to the lives of many.’
On the other side of the world, two pupils, Celeste and Rania, used their scholarship to travel to Brazil to work with a charity in the state of Goiás, training local prisoners the art of embroidery. The prisoners are paid for each item completed and also given three days off their sentence. Celeste and Rania used the money raised before their travels to buy a nutritious meal for all the prisoners.
As Celeste explained, ‘St Augustine’s Priory has taught us the values of redemption and forgiveness, no matter what’.
These three students embraced the opportunity given to them to do good and change the lives of people residing in circumstances far removed from their own.
Photo: Simran with hospital staff (St Augustine’s Priory)