Monday, 12 May 2014

10 Years of Africa Week and still going strong

10 Years of Africa Week and still going strong, students in Kenilworth School and Sixth Form continue to strengthen their links with Uyogo.

This year marked the tenth year of Kenilworth School’s celebration of Africa Week. The largest fundraising event in the school’s calendar, the celebration is in support of the village Uyogo in Tanzania. Funds raised go towards supporting underprivileged children; deprived of basic amenities such as clean water and electricity, their educational and life opportunities are incredibly limited.

In addition to the sponsored events, such as well as the very well-attended USU Swing Night to raise the much-needed cash to improve the lives of the children in Uyogo, the students at Kenilworth School were lucky enough to be able to see the importance of the week through visiting speakers and poets. In Year 9 English lessons led by Beryl Starkey, Secretary for the Kenilworth Uyogo Link, set up 30 years ago with the UN’s Child of the Year, they learned about the background of the Tanzanian village and the lives of young people in Uyogo. Studying photographs and artefacts, the children were encouraged to formulate their own questions about life in Uyogo.

One Year 9 girl said: ‘It’s so easy to take all we have for granted here in England, and particularly in Kenilworth where we have so much going on and so many opportunities. It was fascinating to learn about the children’s lives and their culture, but it also made me reflect on what’s important.’ Another boy added: ‘I’ve never been truly hungry and never needed to worry about whether clean water would come through my tap. It’s a very harsh reality for these kids and we have a responsibility to help if we can.’ The children followed up their learning with letters to the children in Uyogo and after their lessons, many expressed their desire to continue their involvement with the Kenilworth Uyogo Link.

Year 7 students were treated to an afternoon of entertainment and education from the renowned performance poet and BBC Radio 4 Slam Event host, Dreadlock Alien. Excited by the poet’s energy and strong messages, one Year 7 said: ‘This is how I like to experience poetry. I will definitely look him up on Youtube and maybe write some of my own poems now.’

It is hoped that the 2014 has helped to push funds raised over the past ten years towards the target of £60,000. The money raised will continue to help supply medical and educational facilities in Uyogo to support the ongoing development of the community.

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