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Kidsfirst Teachers Donate to Children in Samoa

Media Release,
Kidsfirst Kindergartens
04 November 2009

Kidsfirst Teachers Donate to Children in Samoa

Christchurch Kidsfirst Kindergartens teachers recently donated learning materials and toys to a container being sent to Samoan villages, where schools and homes have been destroyed by last month’s tsunami.

The container is being organised by Barbara Martindale, a teacher at Rowley Avenue School, who came up with the initiative after learning a number of her colleagues had close relatives from Ulutogia and Poutasi, two villages devastated by the tsunami.

Kidsfirst Kindergartens Hoon Hay - next door to Rowley Avenue School - instantly decided to lend a hand after they heard what their neighbours were up to.

Kidsfirst Hoon Hay Head Teacher Abina Loader says she emailed the wider Kidsfirst network to get the ball rolling for donations.

Barbara says these villages are in urgent need of aid, but it has been slow to arrive.

“The children have been particularly affected with several schools flattened. This has meant children are being sent to host schools in neighbouring villages, but now those have become overcrowded and under resourced.

“Getting the children back into school is so important for them gaining normality back in their lives, so that’s why we decided to do something to help,” she says.

Within a couple of days Rowley Avenue received an overwhelming response from Kidsfirst staff – to the point where Barbara had to put a hold on donations due to a lack of storage space.

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Rowley Avenue is raising money to send the container, and appealing for 25 businesses to donate $250 each to cover the costs.

Barbara says they were overwhelmed by the generosity of Kidsfirst. “We received books, linen, towels, children’s learning equipment and toys, and Bunnings vouchers from a number of different kindergartens around Christchurch.

“We absolutely appreciate their thoughtfulness and I know these practical donations will go a long way to help children in Samoa get back to a normal way of life,” says Barbara.

The tsunami, triggered by a powerful undersea earthquake, struck southern Samoa on September 29 destroying four primary schools and one secondary school, disadvantaging more than 1000 children.


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