Pictured above: Eric Rajah, Executive Director, talking to the grade 4 students about how their fundraising will help fellow students on the other side of the globe.
BY MITCHELL DANSER
Grade 4 students at École Lacombe Upper Elementary (ÉLUES) will be partnering with A Better World for their 12 annual collaborative, the Hope Project.
Funds raised by the students for this year’s project will go into buying fabrics that will be made into school uniforms and given to the students at the Lamu Special School in Lamu, Kenya.
“In countries like Kenya, people with disabilities usually don’t have a way of making money,” said A Better World co-founder Eric Rajah. “Parents who have disabled children are often poor themselves, so those kids are often put to the side and neglected.”
Many of the children are often unable to afford new clothes, setting them apart from other students and in some cases, preventing them from attending school. By providing uniforms to the entire school, the Hope Project will help make students feel equal.
“These kids will then be able to come school, be happy, and feel special,” said Rajah, adding that being disabled doesn’t mean one has lost the ability to do something. “We believe in those children, that they have the potential to do better than they are doing now.”
“It’s exciting to be making uniforms for the children who wouldn’t have them otherwise,” said Nicole Rawlinson, vice principal at ÉLUES. “We’re giving people a chance to succeed in life and we’re really lucky we get to be in a position to do that.”
Each year since 2006, the elementary school has raised funds that have contributed to a number of projects that include building desks, planting gardens, buying new books, providing clean drinking water, and more.
The grade 4 students at ÉLUES will be raising funds for the project by selling $2 raffle tickets until April 30, 2018, when the tickets sold will go into a draw to win art pieces donated by local artisans.
A Better World Canada was established in 1990 with the mandate to improve lives around the globe, regardless of ethnic, political, or religious association. The organization, which was able to achieve charity status from the CRA in 2016, continues to follow their initial mandate, spending 100 percent of project donations received on the projects themselves.
École Lacombe Upper Elementary is a grade 4 to 6 dual track English and French Immersion School. The school is committed to providing a child-centred environment in which students are encouraged to become lifelong learners and to contribute positively to society as a whole. They endeavour to provide students with experiences and opportunities that maximize development of a student’s intellectual, physical, social and emotional capacities.