Fayetteville Christian School's senior class is buzzing with year-end preparation, but it's not for prom, graduation, or college. Students entering their last year are making plans to return to a southern African nation to build a home for 30 orphans.
Seniors from the North Carolina school hope to return to Swaziland next spring with the hopes of providing a small home for some of the nation's poorest children, The Fayetteville Observer reports.
The school sponsors an annual senior trip and discovered the needs in Swaziland last year.
"Never, never, did we expect to find so many with no food and no place to live," Tami Peters the head of FCS said. "It touched all of our hearts. There were more than 30 children with no home, living under a large tree on the edge of a village."
"We travel to give our students an understanding of the world's condition outside our country," Peters said. "We go to spread the gospel, to understand the needs of others and to help others as we can."
The trip started out as an outreach to a Swaziland school, but the students eyes were opened to the dire poverty and wanted to help.
"Many children there were orphans," Peters said. "Their parents had died from the AIDS virus and from the prolonged drought in the region. Some of their parents had to leave to find work and didn't return."
"The people of the village were trying to care for them, but they didn't have enough food for themselves. There was no place to stay, so the children were living under a large tree on the edge of town, relying on it for shelter."
After the group returned to Fayetteville they started a community building project.
"There are people who can provide blueprints, lay a foundation and who can build," she said. "But there are few materials and no money. It's a challenge for them.
The school plans to raise $16,000 by next spring.