Pupils at a school in Cheshire have filled backpacks with educational items to help some of the world’s poorest children, as part of a Mary’s Meals campaign.
Manor House Primary School in Frodsham is supporting the charity’s Backpack Project which appeals to schools to donate backpacks filled with materials such as notebooks, pens and school clothing, to send to children receiving Mary’s Meals in Malawi.
Mary’s Meals sets up and runs school feeding projects in communities where hunger and poverty stop children from gaining an education. The international charity currently provides a meal every school day for over 1.2 million impoverished children in 14 countries.
Seven-year-old Edith Banks, a pupil at Manor House Primary School, came up with the idea of helping to collect backpacks for the Mary’s Meals project after hearing about the work of the charity at her church Sunday Club.
She explained: “I wanted to donate a backpack because I want to help school children in Africa, who own very little. I realised that collecting items as simple as pencils and notepads could make a difference and because they didn’t have to be brand new I thought it was a good way to recycle as well.
“I thought I could ask my school if they would help out too. My headmaster agreed and he even let me sign the letter that went to the parents asking for backpack donations!”
As well as raising awareness of Edith’s efforts, the school kindly agreed to fund the cost of buying backpacks for other pupils to fill with educational items. So far, pupils at the school have managed to fill around 40 backpacks which will now be sent to children receiving Mary’s Meals in Malawi.
Since the Backpack Project started in 2005, more than 480,000 backpacks have been collected and sent to children receiving Mary’s Meals, making a real difference to their daily lives and learning. The project is a great way for primary school children in the UK to recycle items such as school bags and clothing.
Mary’s Meals aims to address the immediate needs of a hungry child by giving them something to eat, and to enable that child to receive the education which can offer an escape from poverty.
Headteacher at Manor House Primary School Ian Devereux-Roberts was delighted at the efforts of all the pupils involved.
He said: “It has been a real pleasure supporting the Mary’s Meals Backpack project. As a school that supports a range of charitable agencies, we were happy to have Edith lead on this project with her class peers and class teacher.
“The generosity of school families was amazing. Supporting initiatives suggested by pupils allows individual pupils to develop a range of skills and for Edith this was certainly the case – a confident, determined and enthusiastic campaign that resulted with a super outcome.”