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15 February 2017

Students ship classroom-in-a-box to the Philippines

Since the start of the year, eight Foundation Studies students have been collecting children’s clothes and basic school equipment such as pens and pencils to send to the Senmegal School in the Isle of Mindanao.

All the items, which included more than 150 colouring pens and pencils, folders, stationary sets and six laptops, were donated by staff and students from across the campus.

The box, which was then packed by the students, is now on its way to the 300-student school and is expected to arrive in the spring.

17-year-old Foundation Studies student, Kayleigh Laurie, from Salisbury, said: “This project is not just helping people, it is changing their lives.

“Boys and girls will be able to start their lives with such simple things like a pair of shoes or a couple of pens.

“They will now be able to go to school as they will have shoes to walk there in.”

As part of the project, the students Skyped school teacher Cathy Ramos, where they had the chance to ask questions about what products would be most beneficial to her students, when they needed them by and how it would help the children and their learning.

Foundation Studies lecturer, James Lewis, said: “Our learners have benefitted a great deal from this project.

“They have learned about team working, fundraising and interview skills but most of all they have gained a much wider understanding of third world countries and poverty, making them realise just how lucky we are here in the UK.”

The department has been working on different training projects with Serve on Fire and Rescue Service in Salisbury, and as a result, four students have been invited to volunteer with the service on a two-week expedition to the Philippines in the summer term.

On the trip, they will help to build and renovate a school and will have the chance to meet some of the children who have benefitted from the classroom-in-the-box project.