Leamington pupils bring gift of clean water to their African peers

Brookhurst's Friends of Bo Club (from left) Jai Sispal, Sam Bryan, Camilla Devlin, Grace Taylor, Zac Garrett, Ed Doolan, Tom Neal, Remo Volpe and Ms Houlihan
Brookhurst's Friends of Bo Club (from left) Jai Sispal, Sam Bryan, Camilla Devlin, Grace Taylor, Zac Garrett, Ed Doolan, Tom Neal, Remo Volpe and Ms Houlihan

Children in an Ebola-stricken community in West Africa now have access to clean water, thanks to the fundraising efforts of pupils at a Leamington school.

Pupils at Brookhurst Primary School have been baking and selling biscuits and taking part in fancy dress days and outdoor discos over the past few months to help fund the building of a new well at their partnership school, UBC Upper in Bo, Sierra Leone.

Following the Ebola crisis, children in the small West African country have been returning to school with strict directions to improve hygeine practices – and access to clean water is vital in supporting that.

More than 700 pupils at UBC Upper have been without a clean water source since their old well was destroyed by theives a number of years ago. Brookhurst pupils - led by teacher Lauren Houlihan, who visited Sierra Leone to teach at UBC school in 2013 - have now raised almost £2,000 and were excited to receive photos of the new well being used for the first time.

Since April, a small group of year 5 and 6 pupils have been taking part in a Friends of Bo club, meeting at lunchtimes to plan their fundraising activities and correspond with their partnership school.

Ms Houlihan said: “I am overwhelmed by the effort of the school community and so thankful for this jesture of friendship towards our link school. This well makes recieving an education a little bit easier for hundreds of children.”

Headteacher Angela Stanton said: “Through these activities, our children have gained further understanding and insight into the rights of all children, whatever continent they live in. I am very proud that Brookhurst Primary School can support and learn from our partnership school in Bo.”

Brookhurst pupils are continuing to use social media and written work to communicate with their friends at UBC Upper. The school says this partnership between the two schools is one of the longest running in Warwickshire and has seen a number of teacher exchanges take place and examples of work regularly sent between the two sets of pupils. In response to Brookhurst’s Friends of Bo club, UBC Upper has set up a Friends of Warwick club to exchange information about what the schools are up to.

Eleanor Smith Sam, headteacher of UBC Upper, wrote to Brookhurst: “Your generosity will make an immediate difference on the challenges we are facing as a school.

“The children are delighted and we pray that the link will become stronger.”