African school joy thanks to our kids

Students from Ilkeston Sixth Form Partnership in Gambia earlier this year as part of Every Last Drop Foundation work.
Students from Ilkeston Sixth Form Partnership in Gambia earlier this year as part of Every Last Drop Foundation work.

Ilkeston students have raised £1,900 to help transform the lives of African schoolchildren.

The money, raised at Ormiston Ilkeston Enterprise Academy, has been used to refurbish the semi-derelict Jalandala school in Malawi – paying for a new roof and windows.

Students involved with the academy’s Every Last Drop charity raised the cash through a series of events, including coffee mornings, a fun day and a raffle.

The charity Every Last Drop was set up by students in 2009 to support educational projects in Africa – and the academy is hoping it will soon gain full charitable status.

Students run the project with the aim of making a difference to the lives of others whilst learning more about social enterprise as part of their business studies.

The academy sends a group of students out to Gambia every year to visit Sir Dembo’s Primary and Nursery School, the first school that was helped by Every Last Drop.

Student Oliver Kibble told the ‘Tiser all about his trip to the school in February.

“All the students involved believed that it was a memorable and life-changing experience for them and that they will be much more appreciative of what they have themselves,” he said.

Students helped to build toilets and a classroom, as well as mixing with the local schoolchildren.

David Jenkins, college leader, said that students involved in Every Last Drop have gained valuable experience.

“Often when learning about business, students can be sat in front of a computer,” he explained.

“But this gives them real-life experience and helps them develop a range of employability skills, including communication and team working.

“Initially we raised enough money to help refurbish Sir Dembo’s School and pay for teachers’ salaries for four months.

“They’ve now moved to a larger site, where we pay the rent, and take in about 300 pupils compared to the 60 they started with. It’s been a great success.”

Principal Dave Smith said he was pleased with the students’ contribution.

“Contribution is one of the core values at our academy,” he said. “I want students to develop a spirit of contribution in terms of giving. This may be in terms of time by volunteering or finance by charitable donations and this project embodies both.”