Pupils raise money for Kenyan children

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A group of pupils from Queensferry High School have raised a substantial amount of money for a children’s residential home in Kenya.

The pupils generated more than £2000 through various fundraising activities, including an ice bucket challenge and ceilidh.

The proceeds were originally meant to go towards a school trip to the East African country in February this year, but this was cancelled due to safety fears following a terrorist attack at the Garissa University that left 147 people, mostly students, dead.

However, after a link through the Rotary Club of South Queensferry. the money has been donated to the Nyumbani Children’s home in Nairobi, which was established to develop and run a residential home for children aged five to 16 – many of whom are orphans and are HIV-positive.

The home has already received the cheque for £2135, which will be used to refurbish the girls’ hostel.

And they sent a picture to the school showing their gratitude to the pupils and teacher Barbara Wells, who has been instrumental in arranging many trips for the pupils to visit Kenya over the years.

Queensferry High School head teacher John Wood, said: “There was a tremendous amount of effort in raising that sum of money so it was disappointing that the trip had to be cancelled.

“The pupils wanted the money to go to a good cause so they decided to give it to the home the rotary club has a link with.

“I’m only pleased to see the money is going to benefit them.”

Gordon McInally of the Queensferry Rotary Club and ardent supporter of the Nyumbani Trust said: “Every single penny that was raised goes directly to the trust.

“The money will help improve living conditions which are not ideal compared to what youngsters here would expect.

“This residential home has been supported by the Rotary for ten years.”

Nyumbani, meaning home in Swahili, has helped more than 50,000 children since it was founded in 1992 by Father Angelo D’Agostino.

According to the Nyumbani Trust over 200,000 Kenyan children under the age of 14 are infected with Aids and an estimated 1.1 million Kenyan children are orphaned due to Aids.

Meanwhile, a young girl from South Queensferry spread some festive cheer when she performed in a glittering Christmas spectacular at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall last Tuesday.

Ellie Hemmings, 12, performed in front of more than 2,000 people as part of the MGA Academy of Performing Art’s A Christmas Wish.

The uplifting show featured a dazzling array of Christmas songs, spectacular costumes and stunning dance routines.

Ellie has spent nearly three years attending classes with the academy’s junior school.

CRAIG TURNBULL