Walthamstow School for Girls

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Background to our Link with Ambore

 

In September 2010, WSFG launched a campaign to support victims of the Pakistan floods. The aim was to link with a school which had been adversely affected, helping rebuild the school and developing a long term reciprocal relationship. Fundraising began with cake stalls, a winter bazaar, a swimathon and a fundraising dinner. Our efforts resulted in raising £30,000!

 

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The Pakistan Fundraising Committee then began work on finding a school in a flood affected area that would benefit from the funding and had an ethos similar to that of WSFG, and we found the The READ Foundation School Ambore. READ (Rural Education and Development) Foundation has been implementing educational and welfare projects in LEDCs since 1994. READ is a charity that originally started its work in Pakistan and Kashmir where it runs 340 schools educating 80,000 children, and looking after 8,000 orphans, making it one of the largest educational NGOs of rural Pakistan.

 

The Read Foundation School Ambore was established in 1994. Much of the school was destroyed in a landslide in 2005. There are 700 pupils at the school and the majority of these are from the Ambore refugee camp in the surrounding area.

 

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3500 people live in the Ambore refugee camp. These people fled here from occupied Kashmir at the height of the conflict escaping persecution.

During the Easter holiday 2014, Ms Brunas, Miss Rajput and Miss Bugden went to visit this very special school.

The welcome they received was amazing. Pupils and staff from the school had prepared a beautiful welcome song, were beautifully dressed in traditional Kashmiri outfits and threw petals!

 

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The WSFG team were then ushered around to the new classroom block (which the money WSFG had raised helped to build) and for an inauguration ceremony of the new building.

 

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The school put on an incredible Exhibition to introduce the team to Kashmiri culture which included traditional dress, food and mendhi.

 

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All three teaches taught a lesson whilst they visited the school. Ms Brunas was put completely on the spot and asked to deliver an impromptu “model” science lesson!

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We all found it difficult to teach without the modern technology on which we have come to rely.

 

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Although the Ambore school has limited resources, it is an incredibly special place that has fantastic pupils and staff who are incredibly warm, welcoming and desperate to improve their school. In the coming months we hope to continue to build upon this link with the Ambore school through our International Links Group which runs every Tuesday Week B at lunchtime in s02. We are also hoping to fundraise some more money for the school, as whilst they have a new block of classrooms, they have no money to buy furniture to put in the classrooms our money funded!

 

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