As charity prefects, this year we are supporting four different local, national and global charities. We would like to share why we have chosen these charities, and the events we have planned for this year to support them. Firstly, we strongly believe education should be a global human right no matter your socio-economic situation.
Our first chosen charity, Girls Education International, works towards a society where educational opportunities for women are equal to those typically offered to men in different societies, in particular in Pakistan and Tanzania. In Tanzania only 27% of girls complete secondary school. To resolve this issue, Girls Education International covers any fees for high school education and provides scholarships to girls wanting to go to university. In Pakistan, transportation is the main barrier to education for girls; due to the high transportation costs and lack of reliable transport, it is extremely difficult for girls to go to school. However, Girls Education International has provided sixty girls with a lifetime of school fees and safe transport.
In February, we are planning to host a charity dinner for parents, teachers, and sixth form students to raise money for Girls Education International. Here we hope to sponsor a high school education for some of those who are not currently being given that opportunity.
Secondly, we believe in the importance of animal welfare, and are keen to support animal shelters which have been strained as a consequence of the pandemic. During lockdown many families welcomed pets into their home. As restrictions eased, some found they no longer had the time or resources to support these pets, as a result of people returning to work and the cost of living increasing. This has led to many animal shelters all throughout the country being overcrowded and under-resourced. The charity Woodgreen provides safe shelter and specialist care for thousands of dogs, cats and small pets. In particular, they encourage owners to adopt older and frequently neglected pets. Last year alone, they cared for 4,269 pets throughout the country.
Another charity we, as a school, are continuing to support is the Reading Education Centre. This is a local charity that works to support children who have fallen out of mainstream education by providing an environment that helps them to reintegrate into school life or beyond into further education or a career. We agree with REC’s belief that “each young person should know that they are valuable, unique and gifted and are able to achieve both now and in the future”. We will be working with the community centre throughout the year to host visits from their students.
Finally, we have chosen to support the Reading Ukrainian Community Centre. We feel it is very important to support those who have been affected by the war in Ukraine, especially the large Ukrainian community in Reading. Due to the war thousands of homes have been destroyed, and many people have been separated from their families. Those who have been able to flee to safety have had to leave their homes with almost no belongings. The Reading Ukrainian Community Centre provides short term shelter and food to those arriving in the UK, as well as finding long term sponsors for Ukrainian immigrants in need of a new home. One way we can help as a school is practical donations: we will be holding a food collection after the May half term for dry-packaged ingredients such as pasta, rice and snack bars, to contribute to the Centre’s food bank.
At The Abbey we value kindness and unity, and we believe charity is an essential part of Abbey life. We hope to work collaboratively with the whole school throughout the year and are excited to listen to all of your ideas and share news about the charitable work that The Abbey community is doing.
This year’s Charity Prefects are Dina, Maryam, Carolina and Tiana.