A charity that is striving to educate some of the world’s poorest children has appealed for help from Northumberland students.
Chairman of the Love Trust, Bishop Martin Morrison, addressed students at Bede Academy in Blyth, asking for their further support with ambitious plans to bring learning to South Africa.
The trust runs Nokuphila School in Tembisa for 240 children aged three to eight.
Many of the children have been infected or affected by HIV/AIDS, some have lost one parent, others both to the killer disease.
The aim is to provide them with the best possible education as a means of lifting them out of poverty.
Links were forged between the charity and Bede Academy thanks to principal Gwyneth Evans, and the charity is also supported by Bede’s sister school, Emmanuel College in Gateshead.
Love Trust also runs the Christ Church Preparatory School in South Africa and has ambitious plans to launch 15 pre-schools next year and 15 more per year for the next decade, as well as 40 teacher training centres.
Bishop Martin said: “It is a passion of mine to help the poor and it is lovely to have partners like Bede Academy, who share our values.
“The school is means tested and families are expected to contribute something towards the fees because this means they are not accepting charity as such which preserves their dignity.”
The academy also plans to send a party of eight Year 13 students to South Africa next July to work with the trust in schools and in inner city Johannesburg.
Vice-principal Steve Nelson added: “Our relationship with Nokuphila School is really helping to broaden the horizons of our all students.
“Next summer’s expedition will be a fantastic opportunity for our sixth formers to help the charity.”