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Students sweeping their way to Tanzania

A group of Bracebridge students were getting swept away with fundraising for a trip to Africa.

Some of the students fundraising for their trip to Tanzania in May. (Supplied Photo)

The Tanzania-Spiel took place yesterday at the Muskoka Golf and Curling Club. The curling tournament was part of the ongoing fundraising surrounding the humanitarian trip being taken by up to 25 students and four staff from Saint Dominic Catholic Secondary School who will be visiting the African nation in May.

Jennifer Starratt is a guidance counsellor at the school. She will be a teacher chaperone on the trip and says the fundraising has been taking place since January of 2018.

“Students applied to be a part of the team and so we had our team picked around (last) January,” she explains. “We’ve been fundraising ever since.”

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The curling tournament involved 12 teams of four and also featured a silent auction of donated items.

The trip to Tanzania will see the group help with the construction of a school.

“So we work together with the community and depending on where they are at with the school we might be laying a foundation or building the walls or painting the walls,” Starratt says.  “It just depends on what they need us for.”

The total cost is in the $4,000 to $5,000 range per person with the final amount to be paid dictated by the total fundraising effort.

Starratt says the ten days in the country will really get students out of their comfort zone. It is when they return to normal life that the enormity of what they have done hits home.

“We go in May and then when we come back from the trip they get to be together for another month to debrief everything,” she explains. “Because things like graduation then prom – you are looking at it through a different lens after you’ve helped out in Africa for two weeks.”

Starratt says it is not just the trip, but all the planning, fundraising, physical training and learning about a new culture prior to departure that also has a lasting impact on students.

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