As children from across the country begin to unwind before the summer holidays, one group of big-hearted Perthshire pupils are busy helping to improve the lives of school children who live thousands of miles away. And they need your help!
Pupils from Dunbarney Primary School in Bridge of Earn are taking part in the Mary's Meals Backpack project, where backpacks are filled with items such as stationary, toiletries and clothing before being shipped off to kids living in poverty in the African country of Malawi.
The gifts help the children to participate in education and each backpack is an extremely well received gift from the grateful kids in a country where poverty and disease contributes to low life expectancy and high infant mortality.
One of the kind-hearted Dunbarney pupils is Innes, aged 8, and he's delighted to be involved in the Mary's Meals project.
"For some children this might be the first gift they've ever received," he said, "and I wish we had one for every single one of them. If other people from around Perth help us too then we'll have even more backpacks to send." For some children this might be the first gift they've ever received.
Mary's Meals is a global charity which is based in Scotland and benefits tens of thousands of children throughout the world. The charity's main aim is to provide hungry children with a daily meal in a place of learning, encouraging the kids to go to school and gain an education which will in turn become a ladder out of poverty.
By filling up good quality, second hand bags with items that are often taken for granted by us, it makes a huge difference to those less fortunate and is a great way of recycling old and/or unused items.
"I've been really excited about the project," said Primary Six pupil, Mason.
"It's very sad to think there are so many starving children in the world but I'm glad charities like Mary's Meals are helping them and I'm pleased that we can help too."
Dunbarney's Deputy Head Teacher, Angela Dow, has been impressed with the pupils' attitude and dedication to the project.
"The children have been so enthusiastic about this," she commented.
"The Pupil Council has had a lot of good ideas on how we can help Mary's Meals and in rolling out the 'call to arms' to the local community.
"It's a great feeling to be helping others and the earlier in life that you catch that bug, the better it is for you!"
So, how can you help the Dunbarney Primary School kids with the Mary's Meals Backpack project?
It's a great way to recycle so good quality, second-hand items are welcomed and you can donate a filled backpack or even an empty backpack.
Some items that should be included; notepads, pens, pencils, crayons, rubber, ruler, pencil sharpener, pencil case, towels, shorts, skirts, t-shirts, flip-flops, sandals, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, small balls and anything else you can think of that might be useful for the children of Malawi!
Backpacks should be labelled to indicate whether it is suitable for a boy or a girl, and also suggest what age you think it's most suitable for. Clothing should be for children aged between 4 to 12-years-old.
Please don't include any liquids (including liquid soap) and don't be tempted to add any other gifts such as toys or sweets as these can cause problems at Customs during delivery.
Dunbarney Primary School will be collecting bags until Friday 22nd of June. If you have any questions about the project, please email Victoria White at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07469246920.
Around 61 million of the world's hungriest children do not attend school. In order to survive, they have to go to work or beg. Even if they do make it into the classroom, hunger dramatically affects their ability to learn.
Malawi is among the world's least-developed countries. The economy is heavily based on agriculture and the country has a largely rural population. Malawi has a low life expectancy and high infant mortality. There is a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS, which is a drain on the labour force and government expenditures.
Malawi is one of fifteen countries where Mary's Meals operates. To find out more about the charity, visit their website.
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