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• The school group in Gicumbi, Rwanda.

Five island students have recently returned from a trip to the African National of Rwanda, inspired by the visit.

Jessica Robinson, Sophie Wilson, Michael Kurd, Lindsay Papp and Amelie Kelly were part of a group of 25 students from Kimberley College to undertake the African adventure.

The journey to Rwanda was inspired out of compassion.

"Kimberley College is a compassionate college. We have been taught from an early age to think of others before we think of ourselves," Jessica Robinson told The Friendly Bay Islander.

The journey involved 11 days that saw the group fly to the small, beleaguered African nation via Thailand and Kenya.

They flew into the Rwandan capital, Kigali, but spent most of their time at Gicumbi, working with young children.

"It was an amazing experience. It was also quite beautiful.

"Working with the children was wonderful.

"The country has been devastated in the past and working with their children is a way for it to change and grow," she said.

The entire Kimberley group fell in love with the people and were definitely impressed by their capacity to forgive and overcome.

"It was rather confronting when we visited the Genocide Memorial."

So impressed was Jessica, that she has decided to return to Rwanda and work again with the children of Gicumbi.

"Myself and another Kimberley College student, Taya Thornhill, have applied to return via Project Abroad.

"It would mean we could go back next year for several weeks to teach English to the young children," Jessica said.

Jessica and Taya could return as part of a Gap Year experience.

Jessica will then be starting a Speech Pathology university degree at the Australian Catholic University.

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