Penrice Academy Students to Ship Container of School Equipment to Africa
Students at Penrice have begun planning for this academic year’s International Charity Project.
The mission; to send a shipping container with clothes, toys, school and medical equipment to children in Kissi Town, Sierra Leone, Africa, working closely with Project 3580.
Each year the Penrice Academy Council, led by our Head Boy and Girl Gabe Connolly and Natalie Pramuk, work together to support charities around the world.
Following the success of last year’s Ride for South Africa, a 24 hour charity event during which students raised over £2000 for South African charity Siphila Sonke overnight, the student representatives on the Academy Council are keen to go bigger and bolder with their support.
Mr Knipe, Assistant Principal, has been involved with Project 3580 for four years. Based in a refugee camp in Kissi Town, Sierra Leone, the Project will help with the refurbishment of the local school and provide much needed medical supplies for the community.
Mr Knipe said: “I was lucky enough to visit Sierra Leone in 2014 and spent two weeks working with the school and the people of Kissi Town refugee camp.”
“I approached the Council with the suggestion that the school supports the work of Project 3580 over the coming year and their enthusiasm and empathy was inspiring; they felt that this would be a worthy project to support and agreed unanimously.”
With the help of staff, students, families and the wider community of St Austell and Cornwall, Penrice Academy hopes to raise in excess of £10,000 – or 70 million Leones – to help this incredible charity, which was founded by Neil Morland, a former colleague of Mr Knipe. The money raised will go towards the cost of transporting the container of donations and will also help fill the container.
The Kissi Town refugee camp is based on an old British airbase and became home to refugees escaping the civil war between 1991 and 2002. It had a basic school with no desks, equipment or means of improving the outcomes of some of the poorest people in Sierra Leone.
In the first year of charity support in the town, the number of children under the age of 10 who had died from malaria – a preventable disease – totalled 3580. It was this number that inspired the name of the project, which initially aimed to raise enough money to buy 3580 mosquito nets.
Mr Knipe continued: “The charity’s mission quickly grew into a refurbishment of the existing school building and the construction and equipping of new classroom blocks, as well as resourcing the medical centre. Project 3580 also supported a food aid programme during the recent Ebola crisis which left many dead and many children orphaned.”
A huge difference
Natalie Pramuk, Head Girl at Penrice Academy, said: “Mr Knipe delivered a presentation with pictures from his time at the camp and the work of the project really resonated with all of us. We feel so fortunate to have the education and the opportunities that we do and it is an absolute privilege to be able to do our part for other children.”
Gabe Connolly, Head Boy, said: “We have some brilliant fundraising ideas and we’re really excited about this project and the huge difference it will make.”
The Council have drawn up plans for fundraisers for the coming year – from cake sales to sponsored runs – which will culminate in another 24 hour event in the Spring.
Departments across the school are also working together for the project; from Design Technology and Art creating a donation box for Reception, to Performing Arts already planning gigs and shows in support.
Mr Knipe is also visiting again in Easter 2017 with Mr Johnson and Miss Cox from Penrice Academy, to take word of the students’ charity efforts and personally present them with letters from students at Penrice to help really connect with the children of Kissi Town.
He said: “I believe this project is going to be a truly life changing experience for our students at home running the fundraising, our staff who visit the project and, most importantly, for the young children of Kissi Town who will benefit from our help.”
Pictured: Children at a school in Kissi Town, Sierra Leone