A GROUP of teenagers will be the first outsiders to be allowed to stay at a school in a remote village which has never before received outside help.

The Year 11 students from Lewes Old Grammar School are travelling to the school in Borneo to install a clean water supply.

The teenagers and teachers have been given special permissions by the village’s chief to live on the school site while they carry out the work.

This is the first time the island has received humanitarian aid from outsiders.

Headmaster Robert Blewitt said: “Our students and staff will be staying at a small school on the island.

“This is a great courtesy offered to us by the village’s chief and school headmaster which has never been offered before.

“We consider this chance to help the islanders a great privilege, and the start of a great new friendship between Lewes Old Grammar School and the people of Banggi Island.”

Students and staff have been fundraising for the past few years to make the journey this summer to Banggi Island, just off the coast of Borneo in South East Asia.

The island has widespread poverty and a high child mortality rate of 35 per cent with dirty stream water the population’s only water source.

The group from LOGS has raised £20,000 receiving funding from several Sussex companies and through individual fundraising activities.

This money will be used to build and install a water filter system that will clean the water supply on the island.

Students will then put in large underground containers to store the clean water and create a powerful new pump mechanism.

A bank of solar panels and batteries will be donated and installed to power the large pump which will be able to distribute the water to the whole village.

Headmaster Robert Blewitt said: “We hope we will be able to improve the quality of water in this remote part of the world and, as a direct result, the quality of life for an entire village of people.

“We have been told that many children who are born and raised on the north Borneo islands suffer from a lack of basic infrastructure and education.

“As a result, they have huge difficulty competing for jobs with children who are born and educated on the mainland.

“This has created a generation to generation poverty cycle for the islanders.”

The group will fly out in July and have completed survival training weekends, arranged by the trip organisers Really Wild Education, to prepare for the three-week expedition.