CHILDREN 4,000 miles apart have forged a life-changing friendship.
Having seen pictures and heard about the lives of youngsters at
In one week of fundraising they had £3,000 in their appeal fund – a lottery windfall for the 100 pupils in the
With the cash from
They arrived with rugby balls and shirts, pencils, sharpeners and bought books and equipment locally.
Describing the moment the pupils saw the new school supplies Francis Omia, a member of staff at the school and one of the organisers of the Springs Alive educational scheme said: “When the pupils were shown scholastic materials such as sharpeners, pencils, rubbers and books they were thrown into a frenzy shouting at the top of their voices ‘twafunye obusongola ekaalamu, twawonye gilita’ literally meaning we have now got sharpeners, we are saved from razor blades.”
He added: “For us in Africa it’s unbelievable to be given anything in such a manner even the used clothes and shoes sent to
For the children in Roath their fundraising week has been an experience they will not forget and the beginning of a lesson on how children are living in other parts of the world.
It is estimated that the violence displaced more than 1.6 million people and tens of thousands of civilians have been killed or kidnapped. It ended in 2006 when LRA and the government signed a truce.
Headteacher of Roath Park Primary Colin Skinner said: “When we launched the fundraising week we had no idea how much we would raise. The children had been told about the school and saw pictures. They really wanted to help. They raised £3,000. That is life-changing money for these children in
Mr Husband said: “On arriving at the school it was obvious it was just worlds apart from anything we are used to in
Mr Ellery added: “They have so little, but they are so happy. These children were all smiles. They were so grateful to receive anything. A local branch of the organisation Teddies for Tragedy, which sends knitted teddies to children in third world countries gave us dozens of teddies to take with us. We did not have one for every child but each teddy came in a bag. The children who received a bag were as delighted as those who got a teddy. It was quite incredible. These children know how important an education is. They know that it is a way out of the poverty.”
It is hoped that the educational links can be developed in the coming years. If Springs Alive gets electricity it can be connected to the internet and pupils and teachers can email each other. Questions pupils have about