A GROUP of pupils are gearing up for the biggest adventure of their lives in Malaysia.
Preparations and fundraising are under way as the 12 children from Great Cornard Upper School need to raise nearly £3,500 each for the month-long expedition, scheduled to take place in July.
Activities include a three-day trek in the Cameron Highlands, community and conservation projects and a five-day trek through the rainforest in Kenong Rimba.
Daisy Hawkins, 16, said: “I’m looking forward to seeing the different culture and the new places and people.”
Tom Clark, 15, added: “It is obviously going to be really different to what we are used to and there won’t be much clean water or shower facilities, but it should be good. I’m really excited.”
Stuart Bloyce, the school’s Duke of Edinburgh co-ordinator, said: “The trip is a mix of learning about a different country, putting themselves to the test with the trekking and helping the communities and conservation efforts in Malaysia as well.
“The students are in charge for a month from the moment we leave the school – they book the travel, hotel arrangements and food. As long as it doesn’t put them in danger, they choose what they want.”
Students have been raising funds for the project in a number of ways, taking part-time jobs and arranging events, including barn dances.
“I have organised a band night at AFC Sudbury tomorrow,” said Tom. “My mum had a ladies night and I’ve done a few cake sales and some fancy dress days too, so I’m doing alright.”
This is the third time the school has been involved in the expeditions, with previous trips going to South Africa in 2008 and Ecuador in 2010.
“Last year, they built a house in seven days and learnt life skills, such as how to look after money and arrange travel,” said Mr Bloyce.
“We’ve had parents asking what we’ve done with their children as they’ve come back completely different people.”