My name is Millie, I'm in Year 11, and I will be taking part in a project this summer with a few other students from Wallingford School.
In July we will fly out to Tanzania to give much needed help to those in desperate need. We are going with a charity called Go MAD (Go Make A Difference). It was founded by Graham McClure in 1994 and since then he has been taking people out to Africa to do aid work.
After discussions with Mr Willis and the teachers, they have kindly allowed the students to have a non-uniform fundraising day on Friday 5th May to enable us to raise much needed money for the Go MAD charity. We are hoping to raise £1500. There will be a friendly competition between the Houses and the winner will receive a reward from Mr Willis.
I have spoken to the students in various assemblies this week about the educational and social aspects of the projects, as I feel it is important to make students aware of the people in Tanzania who are less fortunate than us. I also really want to make them feel involved and know every penny raised is going straight to specific projects such as building water tanks and building goat sheds (as well as buying the goats to live in them!). We will also be playing games with the children, visiting an orphanage, helping in schools, teaching young girls and lots, lots more. Although only a few of us are going, the difference will be made by everyone at Wallingford School getting involved, even by just giving £1.
I look forward to letting the students know which projects benefitted from the money raised when I return. £450 buys a goat and a goat shed, which is an enormous benefit to families because it provides them with milk to drink and an additional income from selling baby goats. It costs £650 to build a concrete water tank to store rain water. This would make a life changing difference to these people - can YOU imagine not having access to clean water and having to walk 2-3 hours to collect dirty water from a river then 2-3 hours back again? This is mainly the job of girls, causing them to miss out on education.
Recently a baby boy was taken to a Go MAD volunteer because he was seriously malnourished and badly swollen. He was nursed back to health by the Go MAD team, who put him on a feeding programme. 2 in 10 children in the area do not reach the age of 10 due to hunger, dehydration and illnesses such as malaria. A child could be rehydrated by receiving a course of clean water with a little salt and sugar - Go MAD is educating mothers about this, as well as supplying the salt and sugar.
Recently, Go MAD has started a programme to provide and teach teenage girls how to make reusable sanitary packs, so they can continue going to school throughout the entire month. Currently only 1% of girls get into high school because they have missed many weeks of school and therefore don't pass their exams. Go MAD is also trying to put drop toilets in schools.
The clock is ticking. We want to take action now and help in as many ways as we can. Even the smallest of things can make a big difference!