ANDOVER scouts are on a ‘life-changing adventure’ to help communities in Tanzania.

One hundred Hampshire scouts, including 13 teenagers from Andover, flew over to the East African country on Tuesday, July 25, for a four-week project.

Overall, the teens raised £530,000 in a bid to make a positive impact to the international community.

Between a safari and outdoor pursuits, the scouts, aged between 14 and 18, will support a range of charitable projects, including helping to build a new medical centre, providing skill workshops and renovating a primary school.

They will also be marking scouting’s centenary in Tanzania by creating a new activity centre for the movement in the country to enjoy for years to come.

This adventure headquarters will feature a mini-jamboree, where, once complete, the Hampshire teenagers and Tanzania scouts will come together for a celebration.

The preparation for the four-week expedition started two years ago with the scouts preparing by bonding over a series of weekend camps and team-building activities.

Now more than halfway through the trip, the Advertiser spoke to a few scouts helping to build a school for a Tanzanian community.

Jack Tugwell, 16, said: “It’s a bit different from normal life at home with cold water showers all the time but you just get used to it.

“You get used to sleeping on the floor and we’ve got a chef and it’s mainly rice every night and that gets a little boring at times but we’ve just got to get on with it.

“Knowing we’ve made a difference, knowing we’ve helped the community, it’s just a good feeling.

“We’ve all just been very busy working hard.

“As soon as we got here it was a two-day journey and we haven’t stopped. It’s really rewarding.”

14-year-old Ellie Kestle said she has had a good time so far.

She said: “It’s really amazing going through this experience.

“It’s really new from what we’re used to and it’s really cool to discover a new culture.

“My favourite bit so far is probably meeting all the schoolkids and playing with them - it’s really nice.

“There has been a lot of challenges like learning new skills for the building project.”

When the trio finally arrived at the project, only the walls of the school had been erected.

Ben Ferris, 15, said: “I’ve really enjoyed it, it’s really nice to go somewhere new and meet different people, I’ve just really enjoyed it.

“Including showering in the river everyday - it’s quite refreshing after a day of work.

“Everyday I think a lot of people have struggled with working hard everyday, getting covered in paint, getting up early, but it’s really rewarding.

“It’s quite nice to see the end result, I’ve just been at the school and it’s looking really good from the outside.

“I’m very much looking forward to the beach resort at the end as well.”

Lead volunteer, Julian Sore, added: “Tanzania will be the adventure of a lifetime for both the young people and adult volunteers. Not only will they have the opportunity to change the lives of local villagers, the experience is offering them the chance to learn new transferable skills and make lasting memories.”