Pupils at a Jersey primary school have competed a six-week project learning about Africa by linking up live for a special Q&A session and a festive sing song – thanks to a charity supported by an island business.
The year 6 pupils at Grouville Primary School got to talk to school children at Mifumi Primary School in Uganda.
The hour-long live session, which included the two sets of pupils singing songs to each other and asking questions about their favourite subjects and food, was organised by MPS (Jersey) Uganda, a Jersey-based charity which has supported Mifumi Primary School in Eastern Uganda for more than 20 years.
In that time, the school has gone from being a handful of mud huts to a bustling complex of buildings where around 700 boys and girls are educated to a high standard. The school has also been supported by the Jersey Overseas Aid Commission, which has sent three works projects to Mifumi since 2000.
We asked students at Grouville for their thoughts on getting to speak to their peers in Uganda:
11 year old Harry said: “Talking to the children in Uganda was great fun. When you think of Africa, you often think of very poor people so it was really positive to see children with so much energy at a school with the internet. It gave me a lot of hope.”
10 year old Kaitlyn said: “The best bit was the songs, especially the traditional one that the children in Uganda sang. Being able to speak to children like us and ask them questions has brought our projects to life and I definitely want to visit Africa one day.”
Meanwhile, Grouville teacher Debbie Buesnel said: “We’ve been learning about Africa all term and this live interaction just made it so real for the children. As part of our project, we’ve also written to the UK government to try to convince them to push education in Africa up the political agenda, so now the children can understand what that actually means – it is about giving an opportunity to the children we’ve been talking to and singing with.”
MPS (Jersey) Uganda was founded by retired St Michael’s headteacher John Carnegie, and was named Small Charity of the Year at this year’s Jersey Charity Awards. The charity is rub by volunteers and supported by Standard Bank.
Schools wanting to develop their own relationship with Mifumi Primary School can contact charity committee member Julien Morel by email.