Monmouth Comprehensive School has a long-running relationship with World Challenge. Expeditions afford students a once in a lifetime opportunity to explore and engage with the world around them. The ethos of World Challenge is to create sustainably minded, culturally sensitive global citizens with a passion for adventure and community spirit.
Expeditions are almost entirely student led and designed. Across a busy and demanding 18 month build up programme, challengers fundraise avidly to pay for their expedition, as well as transport to and from the airport, and to support local communities encountered in country. Challengers save wages from part-time jobs and organise community and school events to earn the much-needed funds. They have already climbed mountains before even stepping on a plane! The team also has a say in developing the itinerary of their expedition, choosing the length and demand of a ‘trekking phase’ as well as activities in a much deserved ‘R & R’ phase at the end of expedition. When in country they have responsibility for managing team budget, organising transport, sourcing and cooking food, communicating with locals and ultimately, leading their expedition. This is all with the background support of accompanying school teachers and a highly trained World Challenge Expedition Leader. They are there to support and coach and ensure safety at all times, but the expedition certainly belongs to the team of challengers.
As well as trekking and R & R, challengers also engage in community enrichment work. This is organised by World Challenge and knowledgeable ‘in country agents’, close to departure to ensure that help goes to where it is most needed. The spirit of this phase of the expedition is authentic cultural engagement. The challengers embrace fully the way of life of a community, learning traditions, cuisine, culture, language and the challenges and beauty of every-day life. In return, challengers offer their services to develop the community infrastructure and facilities in some way. The phase is based on mutual respect and authentic community development.
In recent years, Monmouth Comprehensive School has spent time in the mountains of Morocco, working on irrigation systems for local farmers, decorating a run-down Bolivian orphanage, upgrading facilities at a Mongolian school and teaching at a remote Sri Lankan school on a Tamil tea plantation. What a legacy our students have left in these remote and needy communities; what an imprint these communities have left on the hearts and minds of our students.
World Challenge is a professional, extremely well regarded organisation. At its core is a passion for developing in young people empathy, perspective and care for the planet; its delicate environment and its diverse people. It is a privilege to allow our young people to experience truly awe-inspiring locations, overcome genuine physical and mental challenge, and meet people from far-flung corners of the world, from whom life’s most valuable lessons can be learnt.
MCS CHARITY COMMITTEE
Formed in 2001, the Charity Committee has gone from strength to strength. Led by a member of Sixth Form, the Committee supports local, national and international causes. Through the years, charities supported have included: Breast Cancer Awareness, British Heart Foundation, St David’s Foundation, Bridges Community Centre, 'Movember', Megan Baker House, Ty Hafan and the Red Cross.
Following the pandemic, the Committee are forging stronger links with local charities, to offer support wherever they can.
Previous events have included bake sales (always a keen favourite), annual Harvest and Christmas food collections for the local Food Bank, warm clothing for the homeless in Newport (co-ordinated by the Lions Club Newport) and food collections for the Welcome Trust, Cardiff. The Committee has hosted Christmas Fairs and kept romance alive with the delivery of Valentine roses and chocolates and Christmas Candy Canes.
We are always very grateful for the support given by parents for these events, particularly the bake sales where the cakes supplied are many and varied. We really couldn't do this without their support.
Children in Need, Sport Relief and Comic Relief are always well-supported by both students and their parents with figures exceeding £1000 raised annually.
The Charity Committee also support Departments with school events such as Parents' Evening, Open Evening and School Performances.