After reading the above review submitted by Lizelle from St Marys DSG Hillcrest Pretoria, we had to find out all World Challenge South Africa did to help Lizelle and her school group in the midst of an earthquake.
Q: What happened in Nepal?
A: A group of 17 students, in two teams, went to Nepal on a World Challenge tour which comprised of a hike in the Himalayas and a community project. One group first hiked whilst the other first did their project. The aim of the journeys is to introduce the pupils to other cultures totally different to their own.
Q: How many students did you have there and where were they when the earthquake hit?
A: The one group was in the mountains near Pokhara which is about 100km from Kathmandu, whilst the other group was doing their project in Pokhara at a school. We were roughly 80 km from the epicentre of the earthquake and nothing else but tremors were felt.
Q: How did World Challenge get the students out?
A: The one group was evacuated from their hike to an open terrain by their competent World Challenge Expedition leader and the other remained at their project in a safe open area.
After the project finished, both teams met in Pokhara and were taken to Kathmandu by private buses together with a team from New Zealand. Constant communication via satellite phone was kept with the World Challenge international office in London and all safety measures were in place.
Q: What safety measures did you have in place?
A: World Challenge is always prepared for any event. They have satellite phones, emergency beacons, safety gear, and all first aid kits needed. If possible and necessary, teams can be evacuated within 24 hours. In our case, we were taken to a place of safety where we camped out in our tents as buildings were unsafe in Kathmandu. We then got on our scheduled flight the next day.
Q: Anything else you want to mention? Further information?
A: St Marys DSG is embarking on yet another journey with World Challenge, this time, destination Borneo, 2017. Their service and the experience they offer is of indescribable value to the pupils. They come back as grown ups after having worked in communities and having experienced situations totally different to what they are used to.
As we have just discovered, World Challenge South Africa do some awesome work to ensure the safety of your pupils and staff. They offer offer a wide range of exciting destinations and durations to best suit your needs. Check out all they offer right here: https://goo.gl/LoS73q