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MIRI: It was a memorable trek for eight students from Australia on a World Challenge, when they came here to transform the Sunflower Centre with a new look.

Led by their team leader Andrew Bisett from the United Kingdom, and supervisors Terry Atkins and Jasia Gladys, they spent days getting dirty and going barefoot during general cleaning at the centre, scrubbing and painting the walls to develop their personal attributes in teamwork.

The eight students concerned, aged between 15 and 18 years old, are Lauren Macfarlane, India Bennett, Jack Kotek, Lyndall Hills, Rory Stocker, Joel Hutchinson, Lauren Hutchinson and Kiera Barge from Charles Campbell College of Adelaide, Australia.

This is our first experience but its worth the trip as it gives us the opportunity to study and learn the culture of the local community.

The locals are great, friendly and caring, they conceded to The Borneo Post when met at the Sunflower Centre here recently.

To a question, the eight said their next destination would be Kota Kinabalu in Sabah for jungle trekking, before proceeding to climb Mt Kinabalu.

They were sent to Borneo by the World Challenge for exposure on the culture of each country and to experience the local communitys charitable activities.

World Challenge is a programme managed by a pioneering educational organisation with over 20 years of experience in delivering personal expeditions for students. The expedition to Borneo is preceded by a training and preparatory course, during which the participants play a major role in community projects and jungle trekking challenge.

It teaches life skills and expands the mind on what life is all about outside the classrooms.

The teams deployed usually spend 21 to 28 days in a developing country to allow them to be fully engaged in the planning process, from researching their destination, fund-raising and participating in the training expedition.

World Challenge is a personal development programme that aims to develop its participants through oversea travel and supporting communities via community projects.

Countries chosen for the purpose are Africa, South-east Asia Pacific, South America and Central America which have greatly benefited from the amazing and challenging adventures.

Meanwhile, the eight students said Borneo was chosen as one of their destinations because of its vast cultural diversity and fantastic jungle trekking experience.

We heard of the warm welcome, excellent food and beautiful scenery shared by other travellers, so we thought of having a taste of it ourselves, they echoed, all beaming with smiles.