Students raise money for wells in Africa

A well in Mozambique that the students helped fund.

The children in Sir John A. Cumber Primary School’s Reception class recently raised more than $4,000 to help build water wells in Sierra Leone, Africa.

“With the money raised, we hope to help with the completion of two water wells in Africa this year,” said teacher Patricia Bodden.

This is the third year the students have been involved with this project, partnering with World Hope International.

“To date, we have helped to complete three water wells and impacted the lives of 1,950 people in communities in Sierra Leone and Mozambique in Africa. Our students have learned a valuable lesson of service to others, and what it means to be internationally minded, reaching out to others in need and trying to make a difference in their lives.”

Ms. Bodden said the project came about when the children were learning about the importance of clean drinking water during a study unit about how water is essential to life. The children learned that not all people in the world have access to clean water and that many people, including very young children, die every day from diseases caused by drinking dirty water.

Reception students raised an impressive amount at the walkathon.
Reception students raised an impressive amount at the walkathon.

“Our children were very saddened to learn this, and so we thought about ways to help make things better for the people we saw [in videos], and many others like them,” said Ms. Bodden.

“Some children eagerly suggested sending clean drinking water by a boat or plane and sharing our clean water with people in Africa. In one of the videos we watched, we saw volunteers from World Hope International drilling water wells for communities in Africa. After discussing this, we decided that would be a good way to provide clean drinking water.”

This year’s Reception contingent of 81 students, led by the teaching team of lead teacher Patricia Bodden, along with Jessica Willis, Ranel Grant and Thresia McLean and four support aides, came up with ideas to raise $1,600. One bake sale on May 6 and one walkathon on May 27 later, the school’s Reception students and parents had raised $4,006.48.

“All teachers, support aides and students were involved in the walkathon, along with about eight parents,” said Ms. Bodden, who noted the one-mile walkathon took place on the field at the school.

The students’ efforts are not going unrecognized, said Ms. Bodden.

“The first year I did the project with my class, World Hope posted on their Facebook page a link to the news story on the fundraiser and did a short write up,” she said.

World Hope has also sent reports of the projects the children were involved in to share with the rest of the school and parents.

“This year we had a Skype session with Scott Drury, a representative from World Hope, where the children were able to ask questions about the water well project, and he shared lots of information about it to them,” said Ms. Bodden.