A SOLIHULL school has raised more than £10,000 to help rebuild a war-torn school in Sri Lanka.
Pupils at Solihull Juniour School carried out a week of fundraising activities to raise vital funds to help rebuild classrooms in the Roman Catholic Tamil mixed-gender school in Puthukkudiyiruppu, in the northern Mullaithivu District of the country.
The children, aged seven to 11, held a book and accessory sale, a non-uniform day, a movie afternoon, a copper haul, a ‘tuck shop takeover’ and a staff versus prefects football match to raise £8,000.
Added to two generous £1,000 donations from one current and one former school families, the money will enable independent charity Assist Resettlement and Renaissance (Assist RR), a UK registered non-government organisation to build four new classrooms at the school.
Solihull Juniour School has previously supported Assist RR with several other projects – including the rebuilding of other school wings in the district in Puthukudiyiruppu and Mullivaikkal West, and the funding of more than 400 cataract operations over the past 12 months across Sri Lanka.
And it was during his visit to see these cataract operations taking place that headmaster Mark Penney, visited the Roman Catholic Tamil school and realised it needed help.
Mr Penney, said: “The majority of the school’s buildings were decimated during the war, and whilst good progress has been made through Assist RR’s work with other donors, pupils still have no choice but to make regular use of an outdoor shelter which is structurally unsound, ill-equipped for learning and offers little protection against the elements.
“With the help of the school community, we have taken on the somewhat ambitious project of replacing the temporary structure with four permanent classrooms.
“Thankfully, we also have the support of Sri Lankan volunteer engineers, who have agreed to complete the job at cost price.”
In addition to the sizeable donation, pupils have also donated 167 pairs of football boots; Solihull’s uniform stockist, Early Years, has supplied 60 new pairs of shorts and socks; and a Junior School family donated boxes of spectacle frames and optical equipment for the children currently studying in Puthukkudiyiruppu.
Dr Velautham Sarveswaran, chairman of Assist RR, said: “I am incredibly grateful to the Solihull School community for their enormous contribution to this restoration project.
“We share the school’s passionate belief in the transformative power of education, and are confident that the new classrooms will provide the ideal learning environment.”
Visit www.solsch.org.uk or call 0121 705 0958 for more information about Solihull Junior School.