The children of North Lakes School in Penrith always enjoy helping others, especially if they can have a little fun in the process. In keeping with the Golden Rule at school. “Treat others as you would like to be treated yourself”, along with the wish to share in the spirit of Harvest Time, the pupils decided to hold a special Tanzania Day to help the children and staff at Uru Primary School in East Africa. Uru is a widespread community located about 10 kilometres from Moshi, and situated at about 3,000 metres on the slopes of Kilimanjaro. The area is forested, widely irrigated and supports coffee, maize and banana cultivation.
North Lakes’ link with Uru Primary School began in 2002, when one of the teaching staff. Lindzi Greenwood, travelled there to help establish sporting facilities. She spent 5 months working alongside staff and students, laying the foundations for what has been a truly rewarding relationship. The headteacher and staff from Uru have visited Penrith and, over the years, have given a warm welcome to other teachers when they have visited Uru.
During the autumn half term, three of North Lakes’ teachers, Mrs Greenwood, Mrs Clark and Miss Hayes will be leaving Penrith and setting off on a wonderful journey to Tanzania in the heart of Africa. They will be developing the sporting connection they have with Uru, teaching alongside the staff, introducing new sports to the students and generally sharing their expertise.
For Mrs Greenwood, this is a return visit to Uru. She said, “We value our relationship with the school and our friendships with the staff and children. Over the years, our children have become pen-friends with the Uru students, and we have explored the differences and similarities between our two communities. We know from discussions with the head at Uru that he is planning a long term project which will bring electricity to the school. This will have a major effect on the school and its community. The classrooms will be able to be illuminated, heating can be installed, the kitchen staff will be able to cook more efficiently and staff and students will be able to communicate effectively with the wider world. All these things we take for granted, but they will have a huge impact on the daily lives of our friends in Uru.”
The staff and children at North Lakes School started their special day wearing sports themed clothes and having their face painted. Parents had baked a huge number of cakes, which were sold alongside some exotic fruit. The children laid a copper trail, which snaked its way around the playground. The kitchen staff had prepared a delicious African themed lunch for children and staff to enjoy. Visiting guests from Ullswater Community College added to the events throughout the day with sessions in Cheerleading, led by Karen Key, African Drama and a fascinating talk from John Sander on cultural and social differences. The Year 5 and 6 pupils were also invited to participate in an African dance workshop in the new dance studio at UCC with specialist teacher Erin Dixon. After a quite exhausting day, the children were still in party mood and ended the day with a disco. The whole event raised almost £500 towards helping Uru achieve their aims.
Other Eden teachers who are visiting Uru at the same time are Barbara Key and Joanne Winter from Temple Sowerby School and Karen Key and Susie Keen from Ullswater Community College. The money they have raised between them, along with that from North Lakes School and Penrith Netball Club’s Charity Tournament, will be used to buy a laptop computer and ‘dongle’ for use by Uru’s headteacher, Peter Shayo, enabling easy access to the world wide web. The remainder will be used to support the plan to bring electricity to the school and local community. Each child at Uru will receive a small personal gift from the North Lakes pupils, and the parents will be given toiletries, stationery gifts and dental care products donated by a local dentist. The children from North Lakes School have also donated a selection of football strips and mobile phones for the Uru children and parents to choose from.