STUDENTS at the English School in Nicosia have raised nearly €4,000 for charity as part of their anti-poverty week. Over €2,100 was raised from a bake sale and a non-uniform day with the money to be distributed to three NGOs, welfare charity Vagoni Agapis (Wagon of Love), the Sophia Foundation for Children which runs an orphanage in Kenya and another charity to be decided by the students later.
Nearly €1,800 was collected by selling handicrafts made by the Sophia Foundation and the money will be given to the foundation. “Every day from 9.30 until 12 the students can buy products at a stall on the school’s premises,” organiser and Assistant Head Maria Asvesta said.
Some ‘fair trade’ products sold in local supermarkets were also displayed “to show what we as consumers can do to fight poverty and to ensure people get paid fair wages.” Many students, Asvesta added, were not aware such products exist.
The students were also encouraged to bring food and essential items such as olive oil and washing powder from home which were distributed to needy families by Vagoni Agapis.
As well as helping children both locally and abroad, the students organised the events to highlight the fact that one billion children across the world are poor. UNICEF estimates that 22,000 of them die each day as a direct result of poverty.
This is not the first time the school is helping needy causes. Inspired by their studies in global perspectives — a cross disciplinary IGCSE course that promotes critical thinking through a focus on global problems — a team of English School students supported by Asvesta began a campaign to ‘build a school in Africa’ in 2013. Through bake sales, film screenings, sponsored dance events (zumba), bazaars and other activities, the team has raised over €5,500 which will be used to establish a library at the Makarios Childrens Home in Nyeri, Kenya.
Providing children with education is one of the best ways to end the cycle of poverty, Asvesta said. “Through activities like these, we hope our students will become more aware and active citizens, bringing positive change to Cyprus and the world.”
For future events, English school students plan to collect Christmas presents for needy families or an event so support refugees.