One World charity challenge reaps rewards

WINNING TEAM: The Ballakermeen High School team secured �2,500 for Koru Hospital Fund. PHOTO: John Maddrell JM130311 (141).

WINNING TEAM: The Ballakermeen High School team secured �2,500 for Koru Hospital Fund. PHOTO: John Maddrell JM130311 (141).

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FROM blind children in Nepal and rag picking women in India to disabled people in Romania and sick children in Malawi –thousands of impoverished people worldwide will benefit from the proceeds given out at last Monday’s One World Charity Challenge.

The island’s secondary schools, King William’s College and Isle of Man College sent teams to the challenge held in the Manx Museum, Douglas. Each team had already won the first in-school heat of the challenge, competing against teams representing other Manx charities.

After a presentation by each school, a panel of judges decided how a pool of £10,000, generously donated for the fifth year by the H&S Davison Trust, would be divided out among the charities.

Castle Rushen High School’s team represented Action Saves Kids, a charity working with disenfranchised and sick children and women in Bangalore. After a striking video introducing India, exploring both its expanding wealth and deprivation, the students explained the work of the charity and why it appealed to them. They compared the lives of Lucy from Port Erin, with Shanti from India, who was abandoned and a rag picker until taken in by an orphanage run by ASK who taught her skills.

The Isle of Man College represented the Pahar Trust, which has built 57 schools in Nepal. The charity also runs a blind school and the students focused on one blind girl whose life was transformed by the charity. They said with the £34m spent building Bermahague school, in Onchan, they could build 4,250 schools in Nepal.

King William’s College focused on Ro-man-aid, which tackles the acute, society-wide deprivation by building a community hall, a centre for sufferers of multiple sclerosis, a clean water supply, donated fire engines and is working on Project Giris, to educate and feed families.

The team from Peel’s QEII high school explained they feel ‘lucky’ to have had such a privileged upbringing, a sentiment enhanced by learning about the work of Namaste Children’s House, which provides education and food for children in Nepal. A focus of the charity is on empowering women who would otherwise be outcast.

A charity in Malawi was highlighted by student’s from St Ninian’s High School. In a mock news report from a pretend TV studio, the team said the charity has sunk 400 bore holes, provided five fire engines and shipments of food to the country, while other projects include a school and community centre, and a sports complex.

Koru Hospital Fund in Kenya, chosen by Ballakermeen students, was formed after island resident Mary Stewart spent time in Koru. Projects since then include a hospital and a school, and work is ongoing on a community project.

The judges said all teams had displayed strengths in different areas. The top prize of £2,500 and the Francis Davidson Cup went to Ballakermeen. All the other teams received £1,500 each for their charities.

Lieutenant Governor Adam Wood said the evening illustrated something that has struck him in his two years in the island: how this small island reaches far into the wider world.

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