On Tuesday 5 June local Rugby residents Tony and Sue Melia, from Bwengu Projects Malawi, visited the Crescent School to receive a cheque for £1409.02. The cheque was presented to Tony and Sue by Class IV pupils Tumi, Archie and Euan, in a whole school assembly.

The Crescent School has been supporting the work that Tony and Sue do for eleven years, in fact the school was one of the charity’s first supporters back in 2007 when they donated books for school libraries, one of the charity’s early projects. Each year the Class IV children at the Crescent School study Africa and in particular Malawi and the work that the Bwengu Projects is involved in. Studying the challenges the people in Malawi face helps the children to appreciate the similarities and differences in our societies.

At the end of their topic the children choose specific Bwengu Projects to support and go on to organise fundraising activities that the whole school participates in. This year the Class IV pupils have raised money in a number of enterprising ways including building a penny path, enduring a sponsored silence, organising collections at the school’s Easter Service and Spring Concert and running non-uniform days and a treasure hunt.

For 2018 the children chose two projects to fundraise for, and set themselves a target of £930 to raise in order to fund 20 school bursaries. Each bursary provides a secondary school place for a child for a year, the children also decided to fund two UNICEF standard school toilet blocks.

Bryony Forth, Deputy Head, commented, “Supporting the Bwengu Project is always a highlight of my teaching year, something of which I personally am very proud to be part of. The children enjoy studying Bwengu and comparing 'A Village Less Economically Developed than Rugby'. Over the years we must have raised over £8,000 and helped pay for renovating schools, building a Women's Development Centre, sewing machines, a teacher's salary and some 58,500 meals for orphans.” She continued, “The children worked incredibly hard this year organising lots of events and have raised a grand total of £1409.02. Our biggest total ever and we are very proud of them.”

Tony and Sue Melia, were overwhelmed, they commented, “This is really wonderful, our aims are very simple, our projects in Malawi support education. It is difficult to ask a question of those that lead you, if you cannot read, write or even count. Our philosophy is simply helping the many to help themselves. The Crescent children help unlock that opportunity for children in Malawi.”