A local charity that has helped build schools and health clinics in Ghana, Rwanda and Bangladesh, recently sent over 700 pairs of boots and shoes to the children they look after, following a generous donation from Pound Magic.
The Broad Street shop, which ceased trading at the end of 2017, also donated some clothes to Island Aid for World Children, which the youngsters received for Christmas.
The charity was launched in 2004 by Alan and Sandra Cameron after the couple went on an overseas aid trip. The couple wanted to help build and run schools and hospital clinics in rural areas of Africa and Bangladesh. Those schools are located in rural areas, where the children would normally have to walk for several miles to attend classes. The schools are also overcrowded, with 60 or more children in each class and not enough desks. With many classes being held under a tree, school is often cancelled on rainy days.
Island Aid for World Children also helped build orphanages for the children of parents who died from HIV, AIDS or malaria, which is still a major health issue in the developing world countries. The orphanages give the children shelter and food, and help them attend school.
They have also built training centres for children once they have left school. These help them to learn a trade to find a job and how to run their own business so that they can support their families.
Since the launch, the charity has helped build three schools, a training centre and a health clinic in Ghana and a school and health clinic in Bangladesh. In 2016, they also set up a new school in a remote village in Myanmar. In total, over 1,500 children study in the schools Island Aid for World Children has built.
Alan and Sandra visit the different locations every year and fund all of their actions through donations and fundraising. Every month, they wash cars with volunteers at the Bagot Road garage. They also organise regular car boot sales to raise money. Alan says: "We also receive donations from different people and we have our families in Scotland who help as well."
Pictured: Some of the shoes donated by Pound Magic were sent to a primary school in south Ghana.
Last December, the charity was able to send over 700 brand-new pairs of boots and shoes as well as some clothes to projects in Ghana and Rwanda. This was made possible through a generous donation from PoundMagic, the shop located on Broad Street which recently ceased trading, who put out an advert offering children shoes to be donated to a charity working overseas.
Volunteers from the charity packed all the footwear into boxes, which were then sent to the charity's newest project, in Piina village in the north-west of the country. The shoes and clothes were distributed by a local church to the children of the village.
Some parcels were sent to Dreamland Primary School, located in south Ghana, and were received with much joy and excitement. James Dugger, the founder of Dreamland, said: “We express our appreciation for the generosity in support of shoes for the children. Your commitment is incredible and means so much to us.”
The children sent video messages to Alan, Sandra and the team of volunteers to say thank you and show off their new shoes.
Pictured: One of the schools Island Aid for World Children built in Bolgatanga.
The last parcels went to Gods Love Childrens Home in Bolgatanga, in the east of Ghana. The home runs a primary school which was also built with funding from Island Aid for World Children and the footwear was given to the children at the school as well as those at the Home. Mary Akampoi, who works at the home, said that the children were “amazed at the wonderful Christmas present” and were running around laughing and playing in the new shoes of which they are very proud.
These shoes are probably the only ones that the children will ever own from new, and it has certainly made Christmas 2017 one to remember as all the parcels arrived before 25 December says the charity.
Alan and Sandra are now busy paving the way for their new projects. In April, they will spend three weeks in Piina to build a new two-classroom school.
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