|Annika leads community in uniform drive - 03 December 2014|
Annika Cameron (Year 11) has recently led a College-wide social justice campaign, collecting second hand uniforms to donate to a school in Tanzania. She wrote about why this project was so important to her:
The background story
I have a family friend named Victoria (Vicki) Thomas who is from England, but spent a number of years living in Brisbane. While here, she was involved a car accident which resulted in the amputation of one of her legs, from the knee down. Vicki received compensation from an insurance company following the accident. With the money she received, along with her close friend, Carli, Vicki began a school in Tanzania, Africa, for around 65 children aged between four and seven.
A Little bit about Tengeru Village School
Access to education in Tanzania is restricted due to high costs such as school fees, entrance exam fees, uniforms, books and stationery costs. Language is also a barrier, with public primary school education taught in Swahili and secondary education taught in English. The entrance exam and the instruction book are also in English. Consequently, financially deprived children whose primary education is in Swahili, find their move to secondary education fraught with complications. Many children also fall behind in their schooling as a result of poor nutrition, health issues including HIV, and home environments and pressures that are unsupportive of education. Children impacted by poverty rarely get the opportunity to attend school and often spend their time roaming the streets. Without education, they have few prospects for a future. Tengeru Village School was conceived in 2009 with the simple premise that all children should have access to free primary education, taught in English and be provided a meal. This enables them to progress to secondary education.
How we could help
Last year Vicki visited Brisbane and we discussed a way that I could get involved and help out the school. She mentioned that there is a shortage of school uniforms and school shoes as the children are provided with one of each which is often only their second of third set of clothes. After discussing some options with my mum, we began looking into possibly running a uniform drive. Because we need the clothes to fit primary school-age children, we began working with local primary schools to collect used uniforms and the response was wonderful.
Both the Lourdes Hill and wider community have been incredibly generous in their support of the project and for that I am extremely grateful.