Fund-raising by pupils, staff and parents at Court Fields Community School for communities in Madagascar is to become a very personal experience for a group of current Year 9 pupils and teachers. They will spend 16 days on the island off the east coast of Africa in the summer of 2016 to see first-hand how money raised here helps to provide health-care, clean water and education there.
This week, in an assured presentation to local businesses – including Adsa, Swallowfield, Point.33, Integrious and BH & Insurance Services with Fox Brothers and WH Smiths also pledging support – the ‘Madagascar 8’ summarised the aims of the project as a whole and answered questions about their personal involvement.
The students must each raise £3,750 to finance their trip and are looking for support from the local community as well as within the school. Project Coordinator and Head of Learning Resources, Debbie Robertson who will accompany the pupils on the trip, said, “They’ll be spending time in a rural village, actually working on projects as well as exploring the island’s National Parks. We would eventually like to raise £10,000 to help fund a school in Madagascar, so other pupils hearing about their personal experiences should be invaluable in helping us reach that goal.”
Students at Court Fields have been involved in fundraising for Madagascar for three years, so far raising over £5,000 from a range of activities such as cake sales, non-uniform days and appearances at the Food Town Festival, Carnival and the Wellington Boot Throwing Competition. In May, 41 students and staff took part in a sponsored walk to the Monument and back carrying bricks and planks of wood as children on the island often walk to school with bricks and wood to use as seats or desks.
Last year the school’s activities funded a project to supply a well for 500 people who previously had to walk miles to collect water when a cheque for £3543.37 was presented to Brian Donaldson from the Madagascar Development Fund. The African villagers presented the school with 2 geese as an expression of their gratitude.
Court Fields Head, Rachael Bennett, said, “This is a whole-school project involving pupils, staff and parents who have all been very supportive. Each year we’ve raised more money for Madagascar which indicates clearly that we are generating awareness.”