SCHULL Community College students were thrilled to see the soccer jerseys they donated to students in their international school exchange programme being worn with pride recently.
The Schull secondary school has an ongoing exchange programme in place with Holy Names High School, Bela Bela in Lesotho.
The Schull students along with their teachers were due to travel to the African country in September last year, but they were unable to due to Covid-19.
The students usually bring gifts from their locality when they travel to Lesotho.
With the trip cancelled, the students improvised with help from their local soccer club, Bunratty United, who donated a set of club jerseys and footballs.
The students in Holy Names High School are making good use of the gifts, wearing the jerseys while representing their school soccer team.
Schull Community College implemented this exchange programme in 2006 to broaden their students' cultural horizons, following a request from the Ambassador of Lesotho.
The two schools remain in close communication on a regular basis and they also embark on fact-finding trips every second year if possible.
These trips generally feature up to a dozen students travelling along with their teachers, where they learn about the culture and the educational journey of their fellow international students.
Schull Community College vice-principal Brendan Drinan said the initiative has proved a huge success since it was established.
“The students learn so much from their trips," he said. "They generally travel over every two years. There is a lot of fundraising required to facilitate the exchange programmes.
"Lesotho students are very warm and lovely people. They are very musical. They love singing and dancing. They possess very similar characteristics to the Irish.
"They love their culture and craic. They generally come over to Schull around Easter time for ten days. The students experience a different culture completely.
It was lovely to see the Lesotho students wearing the local soccer jerseys,” he added.