Our successful "Pakistan: Back to School Campaign" has been featured in an article called "School Bags of Hope", published by Community Connections who report on the great community work of Independent school students and staff. Please read the article below:
Students from Al Siraat College in Epping have again rallied behind a cause to help poor and disadvantaged children overseas. During terms one and two, students collected and packed gift school bags for underprivileged children in Pakistan. The college’s Student Representative Council took the initiative, with SRC Coordinator Noori Ahmad. Students put together 1000 ‘starter packs’, which included basics such as bags, books, stationery, a lunch box, a drink bottle and a towel and toothpaste.
‘The children receiving the packs are from slum areas, and they have illiterate background,’ Ms Ahmad. ‘Their parents can’t afford education for them. Giving them a starter pack will help motivate them to attend school, such as free street schools.’ The packs will arrive in time for Eid, the festival which breaks the fast of Ramadan.
Students spent lunch times sorting stationery, and putting together pencil cases.
Al Siraat students with starter school bags bound for Pakistan.Another group helped pack the bags, while primary students helped colour Eid cards that go with each bag. In addition to the bags, the students sent library books, donated by the community.
They also came in on the recent term break to help pack and label boxes, ahead of shipping to Pakistan.
Ms Noori said the school also raised funds to help establish village school in Tharpakar district of the Sindh state of Pakistan. ‘We have also sent furniture, teacher resources, white boards and carpets to support the opening of village school for these poor children, who have no education centre in interior areas of Sindh,’ she said.
She said the purpose of the campaign was to make students aware of less fortunate children, who dreamed of getting an education, but were stopped by their circumstances. ‘(The idea) is to teach our youth the purpose of life, charity, and appreciate what they have compared to others,’ she said.
Ms Noori said the project by students reinforced the value of helping others – one of college’s values. Last year, the school supported the Shoebox4Syria campaign, preparing gift boxes for Syrian children in refugee camps. Almost 4000 boxes were sent by the students.