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Have you wondered how the other half lives?
We learn so much in school about poverty and international development and the benefits of our increasingly global society, but so rarely do we really get to see the reality and find out first-hand what life is like for people in other parts of the world.
In October last year we welcomed the Headmaster of the Azad Choudhury Academy in Bangladesh, and Azad Choudhury himself, who is a Birmingham restaurateur who established the school just four years ago, to look around Camp Hill and meet some of its students and teachers.
Since then our connection with the school has developed rapidly and gone from strength to strength with the support of Barry and Monika Badham.
In January, Barry and Monika gave an inspiring assembly to the girls of Camp Hill telling them about the history of the school which they support, and the value that students in that part of rural Bangladesh place on an education which is available to so few due to poverty and lack of good teachers.
As a result of this visit the school agreed to set up a pen-pal programme linking students from Camp Hill and students from the Azad Choudhury Academy.
This is an exciting project with so much potential and we are looking forward to seeing the benefits of it as the project develops over the coming months. Over eighty girls signed up to become pen-pals and we are now busy matching them up with students in Bangladesh.
Most communication will be done by e-mail as the school now has a basic computer system, but we are hoping that the girls will be able to write by hand from time to time and send photos of themselves and small gifts for their pen-pal partners.
The pen-pal programme will give students a unique and fascinating insight into the culture and way of life in a country very different from our own and will hopefully develop an understanding and appreciation that being poor doesn’t have to mean you have no opportunities, just as much as being wealthy doesn’t mean you make the most of what you have. As a school we hope to be able to support the Academy financially through our charity and fundraising programme and continue developing communications between the schools in the future.
Mr D Eckley