FOR two weeks, 15 James Sheahan Catholic High School students lived in the poorest reaches of Sri Lanka, all in the name of helping those in need.
The students went days without a shower due to a lack of water and shower facilities, and the ones they did have certainly made students appreciate what they had.
The student spent the last 12 months raising money to fund the trip and saved up to buy the Sri Lankan students books, pencils, balls and cricket bats.
The year 11 students travelled from Mannar to Colombo and, for the first week, they stayed with the De La Salle Brothers who ran a school and an orphanage.
The Sheahan students taught English to the children, lessons they came up with every night on their own.
The hardest part for the group was that the teachers of the Sri Lankan children barely spoke English themselves.
“The shower was just a dribble of water that ran down the wall and was basically on top of the toilet,” student Eliza Harvey said.
However, she did say she was very grateful there was even a toilet.
For the last few days the group stayed in a hotel where they were able to go shopping and explore.
Student Eliza Brettschneider said when she looked at the hotel, then looked a little further down the road at the slums, she felt embarrassed she was in the hotel.
“It really puts life into perspective,” she said.
Assistant principal Peter Meers, who travelled with the students, said he wanted to show the group “faith in action” and hopefully change the lives of the children in Sri Lanka.
The brothers told Mr Meers the children had never seen Australian students before.
“We wanted to hopefully broaden their minds and give them a different perspective,” he said.
“It was incredibly rewarding and they learnt a lot about other people and cultures.”
The students got home on Friday and said they had never smelt worse in their lives, but none hesitated when they were asked if they would return.
There was a collective “absolutely”.