Pupils' Christmas delivery to Africa...By Victoria Corbett
January 06, 2011
Children in Kenya received a special delivery of hundreds of Christmas presents from thoughtful Wokingham pupils.
Children at Westende Junior and Wescott Infant schools have been supporting children in Kenya as part of the Pass It On Club, which was set up by Westende children 18 months ago.
The club has already succeeded in gathering hundreds of pens, pencils, books and other tools to help the Kenyan children in their studies.
But, the club has continued its good work by ensuring the youngsters have a very merry Christmas with 1,200 presents donated by the two schools.
Jane Ainslie, who is a school governor at Westende and has visited the partner schools in Kenya several times to deliver the donations, said: “It’s amazing what a big difference the donations can make – the biggest benefit is for children who live in desperate and very poor conditions to know they have friends in the UK who care about them.”
The three highlights of the year for the Pass It On Club have been collecting £14,000 worth of books, toys and puzzles, gathering £327 in loose change and co-ordinating a Christmas market.
Mrs Ainslie added: “The added benefit of providing the basics which our children can take for granted like pens and books really supports the children’s education.
“For many children the only meal of the day is the one they receive at school. The £327 raised provided over 1,600 meals.”
The Pass It On Club is made up of Year Five and Six pupils from Westende, however the whole school and children at Wescott Infant have also got involved in the project.
Mrs Ainslie said: “They’re incredibly focused and determined, meeting most Friday lunchtimes to work on their fundraising plans.
“Their plans have to be impactful without costing parents too much – the whole point is to show the children throughout school that they can make a difference and that small change and donations when added together have a big impact.
“Building pen pal relationships with some of the schools has made the benefits a two-way thing. The children at Westende have learned a great deal about life on another continent, and most importantly that children all over the world share many of the same likes, such as football which is just huge.”
Mrs Ainslie’s latest trip to Kenya was earlier this month when she delivered the 1,200 Christmas presents.
Mrs Ainslie added: “They’ve achieved so much and they are only 10 years old!”