College team help orphans with habitat project

A TEAM of students from Ely Sixth Form College swapped their notepads and pens for trowels and cement recently as they headed out to Romania to help build houses for orphaned children.

The 10-strong team raised �6000 to fund the trip, which saw them spend 10 days in the village of Caminul Felix helping finish two new houses for local children.

Team leader and college head, Mark Sirot-Smith, said: “The team were fantastic and wholeheartedly threw themselves into every job. They worked really hard and have learnt a lot about themselves and their own capabilities. I am extremely proud of them and what they have achieved. It has been an emotional project but we have really made a difference.”

The team were able to undertake a wide range of tasks including carpentry, plastering, dry-lining and concreting, all under the expert tutelage of the local Habitat for Humanity team.

The reward for their hard work was the opportunity to play with the children in the village and see how the Caminul Felix Village was improving their lives.

Team member, Laura Davies, said: “The children are brought up in the village by adoptive parents. There are 16 children in each house and the houses are built around a central play area- it is a fantastic place for the children to grow up in.

“They were all so friendly, that it was easy to forget what terrible experiences some of them had had, including living on the streets, seeing their real parents die or simply being abandoned. It was great to be part of such a fantastic project.”

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In order to take part in the project the students had to work together to raise nearly �6000. This they have did through a series of events including a quiz night, a race night, a car boot sale, a disco, a curry evening, selling scratch cards and through the generous help of a number of local and national organisations including: Sisk Group, the Rotary Club of Littleport, the Ely Trinity Dole Charity, Littleport Town Lands Charity and Lighthouse Ely.

The college will soon be planning their next Habitat for Humanity trip, which will probably be to central or southern Africa in 2013.