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In April 2017, 20 students and five teachers from Gonzaga College travelled to Zambia to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. The team spent two weeks building with the local community of George, helping five families to become Habitat homeowners.

Here, a few Gonzaga College team members share memories of their time in Zambia.

“An amazing and unforgettable experience altogether. The busy yet incredibly rewarding schedule of building, football, playing with the kids and a good sing and a dance after dinner!”

“Habitat builders were assigned to each house to show us the ropes, teaching us how to make mortar and speak their language, Bemba. Each house had two builders (apart from one which had about six), who loved to laugh at us when we did a job awfully.”

“It was a real eye opener living somewhere without proper roads or sanitation, even more eye opening were the people of the village themselves. In particular the women who cooked new and very tasty meals for us each night and the kids, who never ran out of energy or good humour.”

“The image of driving into the town will stay with me forever. A stampede of kids, with beaming grins on their faces, was running alongside our bus, absolutely delighted to have visitors. The welcome we received is hard to compare.”

“I felt the handing over ceremony had the biggest impact on me just to see how much it meant and the security and opportunities by owning your own home can provide for you.”

“Our trip was a great eye-opener and experience for us and an enormous thank you goes out to all the teachers, Mr Paul Kieran, Ms Nicola Alcorn, Mr John Benson, Mr Justin Howlett, and most importantly our team leader Ms Marie Ní Bhraonáin, who were great leaders and good company. I would love to go on this trip again and would hugely recommend it to anyone who is thinking of applying.”

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