New Orleans

School Group Renovates a Home in New Orleans

Background

Hands Up Schools was approached by the Rush-Henrietta School to arrange a volunteer trip within the USA.

Requirements

It was essential that the trip was safe, and enabled the students to make a meaningful contribution to a disadvantaged family in the USA, and interact meaningfully with them.

Planning

New Orleans was the obvious destination, as it is still recovering from Hurricane Katrina, with houses still uninhabitable.

The school agreed that New Orleans was a good choice, and Hands Up worked closely with the lead teacher to develop a program that would achieve their goals and be on budget.

Trip Elements

1. Voluntary Service

The group of 16 students aged from 15-17 spent four days renovating a home that was badly damaged by Hurricane Katrina.
They also got to meet and spend time with the family that they were helping, along with other families in the neighborhood.

2. Cultural Immersion

In addition to interacting with the families in the community where they were renovating the house, the students also got a taste of N’awlins to experience the best of The Big Easy with:

  • a guided tour of the French Quarter
  • a guided tour of plantation estates
  • a Cajun swamp tour

Impact

With the help of the community and local expert builders and tradesmen, the students completed the renovation of a home which enabled the family to move back in.

The students were unanimous in scoring the trip 10/10 and felt that it was the best possible way to experience New Orleans by truly getting to know – and work alongside – them.

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