Well-meaning students

Just before the summer holidays, Pinewood Elementary students gathered with a $5,000 cheque for Free the Children. - Photo submitted
Just before the summer holidays, Pinewood Elementary students gathered with a $5,000 cheque for Free the Children.
— image credit: Photo submitted

After three years of hard work and dedication, students at Pinewood Elementary School in North Delta recently celebrated a hugely successful student-led fundraising campaign. The students raised more than $5,000 to provide a clean water well for the community of Mwangaza in Kenya.

“I think that fundraising for the well was important because we need this new generation to know about these kinds of problems that we have in our world,” said Grade 7 student Jamie Kromhoff. “I feel awesome that we achieved this goal because now a town in Africa will have more clean water. More kids will have safer drinking water and it feels great to know that we did that for them.”

The students were inspired to help out the Kenyan community after attending We Day three years ago. According to Free the Children, Mwangaza does not have access to safe drinking water and children are regularly becoming ill from drinking unclean water.

To obtain water, women and children, especially school-aged girls, have the labour-intensive job of walking to collect water for their households.

This prevents children from regularly attending school. With the $5,867 donation from Pinewood Elementary, a fresh water system can be built in the community to provide clean, safe drinking water.

“On behalf of the entire Free The Children family, we would like to extend our deepest gratitude for your generous contribution,” said Racquel Villagante, Educational Programming Coordinator, Free The Children. “Your donation will break down barriers to education for kids around the world and will further support Free The Children’s mission to break the cycle of poverty worldwide.”

The Pinewood Elementary fundraising campaign was spearheaded by the school’s We Day Leadership Team. Over the past three school years they organized various events, such as movie nights, walk-a-thons, popcorn sales, change collections and selling paper water droplets for a school display of the water-well project.

It was a significant amount of work for the students, who planned the initiatives, did all of the promotion and actually ran the events. The entire school community, including other students, staff and parents, were supportive – donating and getting involved with all of the various activities.

“I am so incredibly proud of our entire school. Our students put their minds towards this great cause and their determination, along with the strong support of staff and students, made certain that they reached their goal. We can all take pride in what we have done to help the children and families of Mwangaza,” said school principal Cathy Hussey.

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