Students are aiming to raise £6,000 as the final part of a year-long fundraising initiative by Bedales to finance the installation of a better water supply for pupils at Thulwane School, Swaziland. The project is already underway with the creation of a borehole for water. A group of 28 students will then spend a week in Africa, over October half term, to help dig and install the new water pipes and get water flowing to the African school.
The students will also visit Mbalenhle School in Swaziland, which Bedales has been supporting since 2007. To date Bedales has raised over £60,000 for the ongoing improvement project, which has funded new facilities including: a new hostel for the orphanage; better water supply; a library; dining hall; books, computers and other learning resources; and a free range poultry, cattle and vegetable farm to improve Mbalenhle school's self-sufficiency.
Every year Sixth Form students take a self-funded trip to Swaziland to help with the school project and Thulwane is the latest African school to be adopted by Bedales.
So far this year the students have raised over £3,500 for the project. Commenting on the walk, Bedales sixth form student Angus Grant said, "The morning of the walk started in East Meon outside the Izaak Walton pub. Our walk took us through forest, farmland and fisheries. We were lucky enough to see the birth of a calf and its first intrepid steps. Fortunately we suffered little injuries apart from severe blistering and bruises. By five in the evening we had made it to Winchester. It was definitely worth it as the money is continuing to come through with so many people offering support - we just need a bit more and then we will have reached our goal. The money raised will be spent entirely on the resources and equipment needed for the project as we already have paid for our travelling expenses.”
Headmaster of Bedales School, Keith Budge said: “An ethical thread runs through the school and we very much encourage and support our students’ philanthropic endeavours. The Bedales Swaziland initiative is about supporting education in hard-to-reach areas. Every year our sixth formers have the opportunity to make a difference to the lives of school children in Africa: both they and the Swaziland children benefit greatly.”
If you would like to support the students on their fundraising effort to install water at a Swaziland school, please visit their Justgiving page http://www.justgiving.com/
For more information on Bedales' Swaziland schools project visit http://www.bedales.org.uk/
Notes to Editor
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Pictured: 1) Bedales students on their fundraising hike through Hampshire
Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, Hampshire (UK): Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). The vision of Bedales' founder, John Badley, was to create a school which would be profoundly different from the public schools of his day. From 1893, when Bedales began, there was a determination to shape the school around what was considered best for the individual child's educational welfare and happiness. Two strands predominated: