Thirty-eight students and staff from Oathall Community College in Haywards Heath visited The Gambia in February as volunteers for UK charity The Gunjur Project.
Students raised money and resources for the charity, taking part in sponsored events as well as collecting donations of IT and sports equipment, stationery and books which were shipped to The Gambia.
On arrival at the project lodge, students began a week of intensive activities.
They worked with the charity Football 4 Peace, enjoying football activities with groups of local children.
Annie Murray, trip organiser and PE teacher, said: “It was fantastic to see the students interacting with the Gambian children and adults that we met each day.
“Our students learnt so much about the challenges faced by the people here and they worked hard to help the Gunjur Project teams to make a difference.
“They have made memories that will last a lifetime.”
As well as working with children, students helped out in women’s gardens where they weeded and collected water for watering.
Students used the money they had raised to buy food in local markets, which they delivered to families in the community, and medical supplies for families and the local eye hospital.
One of the students who went on the trip said: “Before I went to The Gambia, I didn’t realise how hard some people have to work.
“Seeing their market and women’s garden showed me how hard they have to work to earn as little as 98p.
“It has been a real eye-opener to see how content they are with what they have even though they don’t have many material possessions. I am so thankful for the experience this has given me.“