Students from DACA helped impoverished children in a poverty-stricken African community.

Nine students from Darwen Aldridge Community Academy (DACA) spent 10 days in Uganda with charity RETRAK.

The charity helps street children in Kampala who have been displaced from other communities through persecution, or who have lost parents and family to AIDS or HIV.

The students were selected for the ‘AfriDACA’ project through a procedure involving interviews and presentations.

The nine sixth-form students were Amber Riley, Rhys Frayne, Holly Ballantyne, Hayley Dickinson, John Meadowcroft, Matt Phillipson, Liam Dargan, Nicole Bond and Courtney Sanderson.

Each contributed £400 from their own funds and helped raised the £16,000 target to finance the trip, while £2,000 was donated by the Africa Relief Trust.

Fundraising activities ranged from bag packing in local supermarkets and book and cup cake sales to sportsman’s dinners and sponsored car washing. The students, delivering sports workshops on the streets, in adapted schools and in safe houses for the street children, helped with literacy and numeracy skills and assisted with the building of a vital medical centre by making the bricks.

School benefactor Sir Rod Aldridge said: “Students and staff at DACA have done a superb job in planning and raising money for this trip, which I’m sure will be a life-changing experience for them.”

A Retrak spokesman said: “As a relatively small charity, we are incredibly grateful for the time and effort the people from Darwen Academy put in.

“The street children we help have often been let down, neglected or abused, so it is wonderful to see them given the opportunity to interact with such positive, energetic young people, and to benefit from their teaching and games.

The AFRIDACA’s visit to our centre in Kampala has made a lasting difference.

Source: Lancashire Telegraph

Team Member Profiles


Amber Riley

Hello I'm Amber, I'm currently studying A Level: Business, English and History. I've always wanted to visitAfrica and experience the different culture and lifestyle out there. I'm exteremly grateful to be visiting Uganda in February; there I aim to engage young people with sports aswell as work with the outreach project.


Rhys Frayne

My name is Rhys I am currently studying;-

  • Health and social care
  • Business studies
  • I.C.T
  • Public services.

The reason why I want to go to Africa is to be able to say I’ve been there and help individuals who have nothing. I want to be able to teach some Africans basic English.


Holly Ballantyne

My name is Holly Ballantyne and i am currently studying Sport, Photography and sociology at 6th form. I run and compete for blackburn harriers on a regular basis and also play for the 6th form netball team. The reason i applied to take part in the trip was so that i could experience how people in a 3rd world country live and also to teach and engage younge children through sporting activities (which being a keen sports person myself) i am looking forward to doing.


Hayley Dickinson

My name is Hayley Dickinson I am 17 and I am currently in my last year at six form. I am study BTEC sport, BTEC business, and BTEC public services. I applied to go on the Uganda trip because it is a once in a life time opportunity, and I knew that I would be less likely to get the same opportunity again. I consider myself as a caring, patient and non judgemental person and enjoy a challenge, also I know this trip will change my views on life and make me realise how fortunate I am also the people around me. I also enjoy many sports and I would love to share my skills and experiences with the young children, and I would love to be involved, in developing their interests in the different sports.



John Meadowcroft

Hello, my name is John Meadowcroft. I am a keen sports man, currently participating in boxing at an amateur level. I applied to take part in the project because it is someone I have wanting to for a number of years, instead of giving money to a charity and not seeing where it is goinng, actually going over and getting first hand experience and helping deprived communities with my peers. It is a once in a life time experience and I am great full to be presented with this, I just can't wait to get over there now.


Matt Phillipson

Hi, my names Matt Phillipson. I am currently in Year 13, studying Sport, History and Psychology. I am honored to have gained a place on the Afridaca trip and am grateful to the staff for their leadership in panning and organizing such a massive adventure. Whilst in Uganda I want to do the best I possibly can to help some of the most underprivileged people in the world. I want to make a positive impact into their life and create a lasting impression within both them and myself. I want to arrive back in the UK shattered, but with a sense of fulfillment, and sunburn!


Liam Dargan

I'm Liam, in year 13 and studying photography, graphics, media and english.
Whilst on the trip to Uganda I aim to encourage the children to be creative, along with documenting the trip whilst I'm there, with photography and film. This will be used to raise more awareness when we return as well.