ONE hundred Scouts from across Hampshire raised a whopping £530,000 for community projects in Africa before flying to Tanzania to help them come to fruition.

The Scouts, including five from the Rotherfield district, which covers the Alton, Alresford, Bentley, and Bordon and Whitehill area, led by 26-year-old Joe Hunter, and four from Odiham, embarked on a life-changing adventure to Tanzania at the end of July in a bid to make a positive impact on the international community.

The Rotherfield team was made up of Emily Pascoe, 15, Holly Ebdon, 16, India Gardiner, 17, Aerin Scott, 17, and adult volunteer Alison Ebdon, 47.

The Odiham quartet was Iona Hickmman, James Thornton, Latisha Onvery, and Catherine Read, who are all 15.

Between a safari and outdoor pursuits, the Scouts, aged 14 to 18, challenged themselves in a range of charitable projects, including helping to build a new medical centre, providing skill workshops, and renovating a primary school.

The thrill-seeking youngsters also marked Scouting’s centenary in Tanzania by creating a new activity centre, which the local movement can enjoy for many years to come. This adventure headquarters will feature a mini-jamboree, where the Scouts from Hampshire and Tanzania came together for an unforgettable celebration.

The projects included:

n Building a new medical centre at Lupiro, which has a catchment area of 20,000 people. These people can travel up to 12 miles to reach this centre, with the next nearest centre being another five miles away;

n Supporting skills workshops and during the expedition refurbishing three classrooms in a primary school. The classrooms’ dilapidated roofs were removed, an extra one-and-a-half feet was added to the height, and then a new roof installed, and larger doors and windows were put in, re-rendered and painted. The work not only restored the classrooms, it massively reduces the temperature, making learning and studying much better for the hundreds of pupils who attend the school;

n Redeveloping the Tanzania national Scout campsite and activity centre, in celebration of their Scouting centenary this year. The work included upgrading water systems, building new toilet and shower blocks, levelling camping areas, installing solar-lighting systems, and building dining shelters. The Tanzania Scouts can now hold national camps and leader-training camps at the campsite.

n Building a new school in the tribal village of Madabadaba. The village had a tiny shelter where they were trying to educate just 200 out of the 1,000 children of school age. The next nearest school is 12 miles away. This massive project now has eight large classrooms, a library, toilets and various offices, enabling 1,000 children to go to school;

n Building a double accommodation block for the medical centre that Hampshire Scouts built at Iragua in 2015. The accommodation block makes it easier to attract medical staff to work at the centre in this rural location, which then benefits the 20,000 people in the catchment area;

n Supplying drugs and other equipment to the medical centre at Iragua, and the medical centre at Itete (Hampshire Scouts built this in 2012). The drugs included painkillers, anti-biotics, and malaria treatment.

Following completion of the work, the Scouts from Hampshire and Tanzania came together for an unforgettable celebration.

Joe Hunter said: “The preparation for this four-week expedition started two years ago, during which time the Scouts have grown in confidence, learned skills and made new friends. The young people bonded over a series of weekend camps and team-building activities on the gear up to this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Adult volunteer Ali Ebdon, from Alton, said of the trip: “Creating a real difference to people’s lives in Tanzania has been a huge personal challenge, and one life-altering experience I will never forget. From life skills, sharing cultures and empowering active citizens, Scouting rocks. We don’t just climb mountains, we move them!”

Scout Emily Pascoe, 15, from Alton, added: “These school summer holidays are going to go down in history, as it’s not everyday you can say you’ve made a massive difference to communities across the globe. The recreational kayaking and snorkelling topped off the end of an eye-opening, but enjoyable, month.”

Scouting in Hampshire has a surprising expedition history, travelling 39,450 miles to 15 countries and territories in 2015 alone – even reaching the summit of Everest in the past. This equates to an impressive 1,893,157 people miles, 76 times around the world, or four trips to the moon and back.

Adventurer and Scout ambassador James Ketchell said: “Scouting has a positive impact on so many lives around the world. Sharing adventures, making new friends, learning valuable life skills and gaining confidence is something every young person can benefit from.”

Scouting is a key part of today’s modern community, continually growing to offer fun, challenge and adventure to boys and girls aged six to 25, as well as adults too.

To get involved, visit or call 0345 300 1818.