A GROUP of Hampshire youngsters hope to swap their pens and exercise books for safari hats in summer 2005.

The teenagers, all aged between 14 and 15 and from Brockenhurst and Sway, are aiming to go on the trip of a lifetime to Kenya, where they will help local people create a new community school.

The month-long trip will see the British youngsters staying under canvas while they help the Makongeni tribe in Kenya repair classrooms at the village school.

At the end of their adventure, the five will spend five days climbing Mount Kenya, camping en route to the summit.

Each youngster needs to raise £2,800 to pay for the trip.

In addition to re-building the school, the youngsters will fence off the school playground, build a kindergarten and create sports pitches for African youngsters.

To pay for the journey, organised by Camps International, the five will be carrying out fundraising events over the next 12 months.

Money-making schemes include washing cars, packing shopping, walking dogs and taking part in a sponsored walk as well as doing car boot sales and organising a quiz night and raffle. The five are also hoping that local businesses can help sponsor the trip.

Elle Harding, 14, of St James Road in Sway said: "It will enable us to see what we have got and to appreciate what we have got."

Jamie Hooper, 15, of New Forest Drive in Brockenhurst added: "The visit will teach us leadership and problem-solving skills."

Elle's mum, Tracy Harding, 37, said all the children's parents were excited about the prospect of them going on their adventure.

"It will be fantastic for them."