In December 2015, St Margaret's Junior School were delighted to be linked with BDEC Messima School in Bo, Sierra Leone through Leamington Spa's long established One World Link (OWL).
Our first challenge was to collect pencil crayons and felt tips for the school. Our families responded amazingly with enough to fill a small suitcase being sent in. Pupils also wrote letters and sent posters for OWL's 'Keeping Safe' project. In January 2016, Mrs Atkins' husband visited the school in Bo to hand deliver them. Children and staff alike were thrilled with their gifts!
Whilst visiting the BDEC Messima, he discovered that the school has no electricity or running water. After seeing the school first hand and taking lots of photographs, Mr Atkins returned to the UK with reply letters, posters about safety in Sierra Leone (including Ebola safety) and the idea to fundraise money to build BDEC Messima a well was born.
On Monday 23rd May 2016, every child at St Margaret's took part in a sponsored Water Walk. We walked the perimeter of our school field carrying 2 litres of bottled water to imagine what it must be like to have to walk to a well to collect clean water every day. By June 10th, over £3500 of sponsor money had been collected - more than enough to build a well in Sierra Leone!
Congratulations and an enormous thank you to all our amazing families for this outstanding reponse to this worthy cause. We are absolutely delighted that the funds to build the well have been raised all in one go! We and One World Link have started the process of safely transferring the money to BDEC Messima.
Watch this space to keep up to date with progress of the building of the well.
On Monday 10th October 2016, we were lucky to receive a visit from Ms Tenneh Koruma who teaches at our link school BDEC Messima in Bo. She arrived at school with Mrs Liz Garrett (Schools Link Coordinator for One World Link - OWL) and Mr Paul Atkins who visited Bo on our behalf last January.
In our whole school assembly, we celebrated our link, sang the OWL link school anthem ‘You are my brother’ and presented Tenneh with a cheque for 17, 380, 000 Leones raised through our sponsored ‘Water Walk’ last term. Tenneh enjoyed her visit enormously and was delighted with the pupils’ singing. She thanked the children and their families for their wonderful fundraising and told us that she would keep the school up to date with how the well is coming along. Later, she was given a tour of the school, admiring our bright colourful classrooms, our well stocked library and our fabulous computer room in particular.
Day of the African Child
16th June 2016, SM7 went to Day of the African Child. This was St Margaret's first visit to this annual event organised by OWL.
Prior to the event SM7 made 'Send my friend to school' backpacks. These colourful paper backpacks send messages to our local MP and David Cameron to highlight the importance of every child in the world's right to an education.
They took our new school banner which has St Margaret's and BDED Messima's school badges on it. The centre of the banner is Grace's winning design for an international link logo for the two schools.