Looking back at the PLC and Scotch Tanzania Tour

With travel restrictions still in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the prospect of travelling internationally remains uncertain.  Many of our planned events and activities have been subsequently cancelled, including the Scotch College and Presbyterian Ladies College Tanzania Tour.

The Scotch College and PLC Tanzania Tour typically takes place every two years in the July break. Students and staff from Scotch and PLC travel to Matipwili, a remote rural village north of Dar es Salaam to complete work aimed at improving educational opportunities. The Tanzania Tour is recognised as a world class service project with a mutually beneficial relationship that continues to thrive after many years. The tour has taken place every two years since the mid-2000s, and the regularity of the visits and the open communication between trips ensure that the project work has a maximum level of success, as well as a higher level of accountability. In addition to the trips made by Scotch College and PLC students and staff members, teachers from Matipwili have also visited Perth.

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While in Tanzania, the group also experience climbing Mount Meru and visit a number of National Parks. The Tanzania tour offers an incredible opportunity for Scotch College and PLC students to work with local communities, create a better understanding about Matipwili culture, and experience the beauty and majesty of Tanzania.

If it were not for the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent travel bans, our students and staff members would have travelled to Tanzania over the recent break. Both schools have built a meaningful and lasting partnership with the people of Matipwili over the years, so it is disappointing that the students are unable to go on this year's tour.

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To assist in the initiatives the Colleges have initiated over the years there have always been significant fundraising activities prior to the tours. The traditional PLC Movie Night for Year 5 – 8 is a great way to introduce the younger students to the tour and its aims, and in 2018 Scotch College hosted a hugely successful quiz night that was well supported by the parent community. Despite not making it to Tanzania in 2020, the Colleges were able to donate funds they had raised to Matipwili and also to the Kisampa Conservation Area which borders the village.

The Tanzania Tour just one of the various tour opportunities within the Service and Citizenship Programme, assisting students in developing leadership skills as well as broadening their outlook beyond that of their day-to-day lives.

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The Scotch College Service and Citizenship programme has evolved over decades of engagement by boys in a multitude of service activities. Service through action is facilitated both through partnerships with agencies and encouraging boys to seek out individual opportunities to serve. Some of the agencies that Scotch currently work with include The Salvation Army, Friends of Lake Claremont, Paraplegic-Quadriplegic Centre, Rocky Bay and Second Bite. Scotch also allow boys the opportunity to participate in a range of tours through the programme, including travelling to remote Australia to explore traditional aboriginal culture as a part of the Indigenous Australian cultural exchange program, and to India, where the boys spend several days at a mission school to develop and deliver learning modules and teaching resources to students and teachers.

We are hopeful that 2021 will see the opportunity to once again travel beyond Australia to Tanzania and that our students will be able to experience these types of opportunities to increase their perspective about the Matipwili people and their culture.

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Scotch College acknowledges the Wadjuk Noongar people, the traditional custodians of the lands and waters on which the College stands. We pay our respect to Elders past, present and emerging and acknowledge the Noongar people as the sovereign First Peoples of this place.