Pitsford Junior School, Northamptonshire, has been supporting MEC for some years now under the banner of ‘Pennies for Makeni’, and the children of the junior school have been making small donations that have been steadily adding up to really useful financial contributions to the centre.
I have also had the pleasure of speaking at two assemblies, where the children have been wonderfully enthusiastic, joining in with our exploration of the geography of Zambia and even a few Chinyanja phrases!
If that was not enough, the school recently decided to donate their old pairs of shoes to the centre. Fifty pairs of shoes were collected, and with the help of Julia Willmott’s transportation, and shipping through Operation Sunshine in Folkestone, we were able to get the shoes to Zambia.
After a hiatus caused by the recent cholera outbreak, during which all schools in the area were closed for safety reasons, we finally were able to start giving the shoes to our own pupils in Makeni.
Mrs Wenda Dil wrote to tell us about it:
“Finally, great excitement, boxes opened, beautiful shoes of much better quality than our usual…. Some lucky children got two pairs, and some waiting for little ones to grow into them.”
Later the children of St Nicholas Orphanage wrote a thank-you letter:
“Dear children of Pitsford school,
We the children of St. Nicholas Orphanage in Lusaka Zambia would like to say a very big thank you to you and your teachers.
Thank you for the boxes of very nice shoes that you took the time and trouble to collect and post to Zambia.
It was a very big job and we are very grateful for your love and care.
We are going to try to send you some pictures of the children trying on the shoes, and later some pictures of our school, to which you have contributed in the past.
Our grade 6 pupils are busy composing a letter which we will be sending to you soon, telling you some facts about their life in Zambia.
Till soon, our very kind regards,
From the children at St. Nicholas”
This also signals some more interaction between the schools in England and Zambia, which we hope will be fun and interesting for the students in both schools!
Here are a few more photos of children trying on shoes.