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Havant & South Downs College lecturer scales highest peak in England for Teach Sri Lanka

A lecturer from Havant & South Downs College has spoken about her ‘challenging but rewarding’ experience of hiking up the highest peak in England to raise money for Teach Sri Lanka.

Andie Poulaki, a dance lecturer at the College, became involved with the charity Teach Sri Lanka over a year ago, wanting to help children reach their potential through education.

Andie said:

“Sri Lanka is a country which has been devastated by civil war. The war ended in 2009 but the impact is still felt by many with many Sri Lankans still affected by poverty, famine, disease and homelessness.

“The wounds can often be deep and slow to heal with children being especially vulnerable in the aftermath of the war. Teach Sri Lanka was founded in 2012 with the sole purpose to promote and enable the education of all Sri Lankan children regardless of their gender, creed, socio economic background or any other bias. With the belief that education is the most empowering tool a child can have and is a crucial determinant of their future success.”

Andie volunteers for the charity though social marketing and fundraising activities. She added: “Being a teacher I feel privileged and humbled to be able to help children halfway across the world fulfil their utmost potential through education.”

Teach Sri Lanka organises three fundraising activities per year. A 17km hike up England’s highest peak – Scafell Pike – is the first activity this year, and one Andie jumped at the chance of being involved in.    

She continued: “The prospect of climbing the highest peak in England was exciting, challenging and rewarding.  

“We had a total of nine volunteers from across the country join us on the hike on Saturday 11 May. The hike itself was incredibly challenging testing both the mental and physical attributes of the team.”

And the group of volunteers didn’t take the easy option to reach the peak, either.  

“The path we chose was the most challenging, with a 1000m terrain and 17km walk and took us around six hours overall, “ Andie added. “The weather was glorious and the sun really lifted our spirits having a few volunteers suffering from height phobia. Therefore we had to push as a team to make it to the top.

“It was an incredible feeling to get to the top and safely complete the challenge. We are incredibly please to have raised more than our intended target of £1000.”

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