Seeing how much some people can do with so little has helped another bunch of local teenagers appreciate all that they have here at home.
The group of 25 students and chaperones from Penticton and Summerland high schools had their eyes opened last month on a three-week humanitarian trip to Tanzania.
While there, the visitors helped with construction of a new dormitory at an orphanage in the Arusha region.
Annie Plant, 15, was amazed at how little it took to content the kids who live there.
“They had a little toy they would share and it was made out of a pop can, and they thought it was the coolest thing,” said Plant, who will begin Grade 11 next week at Penticton Secondary School.
Colton Van Kamp, also 15 and heading into Grade 11 at Princess Margaret Secondary School, was happy to see the children seemed at peace in their lives.
“They were really, really, really underprivileged and they had nothing, but they were the happiest kids in the world,” Van Kamp said. “I don’t think they know what we have, so they have nothing to complain about, so they make due.”
Plant and Van Kamp collected money and school supplies for the orphanage prior to their departure. They were able to raise $160, which they used to buy a month’s worth of food for their new friends.
The Okanagan crew helped finish the walls and floor of a dormitory building that was started by another local group of students that visited Tanzania in the spring.
Plant is returning to Africa in September with her family to work with Flying Doctors of Kenya. While there, the Plants will also be involved with a non-profit called Sports for Change, which helps cover school expenses for orphans and low-income kids by organizing sporting events.
The family is seeking donations of gently used running shoes, jackets, hiking boots, backpacks and books for kids between the ages of 12 and 17. Donations can be dropped off at Peach City Runners, Hooked on Books and the Adidas Sportsplex.