Pupils from Haddon Primary School have performed in a concert for their families to continue their fundraising efforts for fellow pupils in Uganda.
Intrepid Head Teacher, Nina Capek, said the fundraising began after she visited The Little Angels Orphanage and School in Uganda during the summer break. “I was backpacking around Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. This included lots of safaris and gorilla tracking, but whenever I go anywhere I try to do some voluntary work or at least visit local communities and get off the tourist trail.”
Nina says that startling lack of resources at the school didn’t mean that a passion for learning was missing. ‘Little Angels’ is for orphaned children from around the Lake Bunyoni area in Uganda. The children are all transported to school by boat. The key for me was how happy the children were and how much they wanted to learn. The classrooms were very, very, bare and basic and the teachers were doing everything they could to support the children. The children were all taught in English despite it not being their first language.”
Nina said she was sure that the children and families of her Carlton school would want to support and share experiences with the Ugandan school children. “Right from my first meeting with the children I knew I wanted to do something to help. The thing which struck me was how happy they were with so little, and how much they wanted to learn. It made me realise how fortunate we are and that perhaps we don’t always appreciate that.
“So as soon as I returned I shared photos and discussed what could be done with the rest of the school staff. They couldn’t wait to help! We also knew our Haddon families are always generous when it comes to supporting charities too. We decided to work together to both teach our children about other cultures, look at the similarities and differences, and help the African children learn about the UK and support them at the same time. I spoke to the teachers at the school and asked about the possibility of setting up a link between our children and theirs, and that is what we have done!”
Pupil Sienna Staniforth is 6 years old, but already has a strong understanding of the differences between the schools. “We are singing for our mums and dads to help the school in Uganda. We have been writing letters to the pupils there, telling them about ourselves. They need our help because they don’t have any clean water, paper or pencils. They don’t even have proper floors.” Fellow pupil Joshua Hollingworth aged 6 said he wasn’t nervous about performing in the concert. “We have been practising lots and I have really enjoyed learning the songs. I have already written a letter to a pupil at the school telling them what my favourite food and games are, so we can get to know each other better.”
With the help of families attending the concert £121.79 was raised, but further fundraising events are planned. Head Teacher Nina said the project upholds the school’s value system. “This project really brings to life our School DREAM values of determination, respect, enjoyment, achievement and making Memories. This is DREAM in action at both Haddon and Little Angels! If we can raise enough we are hoping to sponsor a child through the school, and stay informed on their progress. The Little Angels school is also looking to buy a few computers so hopefully we can communicate through Skype.” Nina says there is a need for further classrooms to be built so that children can be taught beyond the age of 12 years when their education currently terminates. “Haddon’s Year 2 children have already written letters to the children in Uganda and are eagerly awaiting their reply. I have also shown our pupils the songs that the children sang for me when I was in Uganda and we will hopefully be able to send some videos back of our own children singing. We want to say a big thank you to the families who have supported us so far and hope that we can all benefit from the relationship with the Ugandan school for years to come.”
People interested in finding out more about Little Angels can follow the link: http://www.littleangelsuganda.org/the-project.php