By CASEY NEILL
Dandenong students are helping their Ugandan peers to access fresh water.
St Mary’s Primary School has so far raised more than $7000 towards a $10,000 project to drill a water bore in Nteebezadugu, home to another St Mary’s school.
Teacher Stephanie Meade said the town was within the Mannya district, where Cotton On Foundation has been working with another school, St Nicholas.
St Mary’s welcomed a visit from St Nicholas’ Father Emmanuel last year.
“He inspired a lot of the teachers in our school,” Ms Meade said.
“He said he needed help with other school. He said the school had nothing.”
It was St Mary’s. It’s Dandenong’s namesake and we wanted to help and were advised that water was a key need.
“We’ve provided them already, by doing a small fund-raiser, with water filters and small water tanks,” Ms Meade said.
“We need to get a water bore for the whole community.”
The 259-student school raised $7109 in six months and turned to website Pozible to raise the final $3000 needed to make the project a reality.
Ms Meade has twice been to Mannya, inspired by a visit to St Mary’s from Cotton On Foundation international development manager Paul Spence.
“I teach with all these resources – computes and books – and all they had was an empty shell and 100 students,” he said.
“Rather than teaching the kids, I looked at ways to support the teachers to improve their teaching skills.”
Depending on how much they pledge, donors will be rewarded with a thank-you in the school newsletter, a letter, a certificate or a seat at a thank-you lunch.
Pledges will only be processed if the $3000 target is reached by Monday 8 August.
Visit pozible.com/project/kids-in-solidarity-1 and click ‘pledge now’ to donate.
Watch the St Mary’s pledge video.