Students at Bridlington School have raised an astonishing sum towards building a new school in one of the poorest countries in the world.
At the end of February students pledged to raise £10,000 for a much-needed new YMCA school building in the hills of Kenema, Sierra Leone. So far, they have collected £9,218.31 through a variety of inventive events, including a Walk4Kenema-Thon, car washes, cake sales and gardening.
The school formed a partnership with the YMCA Hope Primary School in Kenema this year, and during a recent Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural (SMSC) learning week, students put on a themed play to celebrate the work.
Y-Care International, a group which supports YMCA, sent its Africa programme manager Harriet Knox to the school to see the performance and learn about the partnership.
Harriet, who visited the school from London, said: “There is such great enthusiasm across the school for the partnership. I have fond memories of a young boy telling me how inspired he was following a drama performance by a group of Year 10 students on their interpretation of life in Kenema, and that he would do whatever he could to help. It really is impressive how much effort is being made by students and teachers.”
Global School Partnership lead teacher Mark Parker-Randall said: “There is a desperate need for education and health care provision in Sierra Leone especially at the moment with regard to the Ebola outbreak.
“Our students and staff have been amazing, and have really taken our partner children of Kenema into their hearts and minds.
“As part of our fundraising effort we wanted to raise awareness of what our fellow Sierra Leonian students have to go through to get fresh water.
“The average distance is about 6km. And so, our students collected an 18.9L canister of water, and then transported it using wheelbarrows kindly donated by West BS Limited around the school site parameter working as a team to ‘share the load’ in a sponsored walk.”
He explained the partnership is not just about raising money, it is also enriching students’ education in Bridlington through SMSC learning projects.
Christian Kamara, National General Secretary of the YMCA Sierra Leone, said: “Generations yet unborn in Kenema will forever remain to appreciate your kind efforts.”