Dubai schoolkids raise Dh10,000 for needy students in Malawi

 

Collecting 5,000 books was not an easy task for the schoolkids.- Supplied photo
Collecting 5,000 books was not an easy task for the schoolkids.- Supplied photo

Dubai - Their 'Winshares' initiative was launched last year, after their academic institution pledged to support a school in rural Malawi.

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Published: Tue 18 Jun 2019, 6:00 PM

Last updated: Wed 19 Jun 2019, 8:58 PM

Students at a Dubai school have raised over Dh10,000 for underprivileged children in Malawi by collecting and selling old and unused books.
Pupils at The Winchester School in Jebel Ali were able to gather a total of 5,000 books and sold them in their school's annual fun fairs and parent-teacher meetings, raising a total of Dh10,240.
Their 'Winshares' initiative was launched last year, after their academic institution pledged to support a school in rural Malawi, under Dubai Cares' 'Adopt a School' programme.
A total of Dh132,000 is needed to adopt a school and offer a wide range of educational benefits to the students and teachers in Malawi.
The Winchester students' efforts were celebrated in an award ceremony at the school on Tuesday.
The founder of Winshares, Mishal Faraz, told Khaleej Times: "The idea stemmed from the desire to help people who aren't as privileged as we are. Last October, when our school took a pledge to adopt a school in Malawi, we knew that we had to contribute and help in our own small way. At first, it was an old uniform and textbook drive. This time, we did a book drive, where we went around collecting books and raising awareness.
"We've sold the items at fun fairs and parent-teacher meetings. The children responded positively as we have managed to make them understand the plight of the Malawian children. I think it's really important for the youth to get involved as it makes us more aware. We also get to learn that we shouldn't take our blessings for granted. It instils this culture of giving in us."
Collecting 5,000 books was not an easy task for the schoolkids. They went from one classroom to another, shedding light on the lack of educational resources in Malawi and how everyone can help make a difference.
The country has one of the highest poverty rates in Africa. More than half of it's population live below the poverty line.
Another student involved in the Winshares initiative, Shanaya Dean, said: "This project started small. We had a little group where we would discuss things we wanted to do. We'd always read stories now and then about people not being as privileged as we are. We thought we always had spare things around, so why don't we give them to those who need them, instead of throwing them away?
"It officially started when Mishal went to the principal and pitched Winshares. From there, we went around classes, telling students that we're doing this drive and that they can donate books they don't use."
Andrew Chefukwa, vice-consul of the Embassy of Malawi, was also present at the award ceremony.
"As a representative of Malawi government, I am very happy and delighted to see the students donating such books. As you know, Malawi is one of the poorest countries and our education standards are not that good as compared to the UAE," he said.
"These younger kids had that mentality to collect such donations for people who are in need, and it is a great initiative. I would like to thank them, as well as the staff and management of Winchester, for this initiative and I hope many other schools would take up such a cause."
Dubai Cares' project: Adopting a school in Malawi
>Cost per school: Dh132,000
>Coverage: One two-classroom school to improve access to quality primary education; furniture for the school and gender-specific latrines; 18 months of adult education and literacy classes
>Duration: One year for the construction of primary school; 18 months for adult literacy activities; approximately three years in total
>Direct beneficiaries per school: Approximately 100 students; 60 men and women; two teachers
>Indirect beneficiaries per school: 300 adults, teachers and officials; 300 volunteers; project leadership teams
sarwat@khaleejtimes.com



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