Pupils' efforts raise pound;100,000 for Afghans

More than 200 schools have helped to push our appeal into six figures, Harvey McGavin reports

The TESUNICEF Children Helping Children appeal topped pound;100,000 this week - earning heartfelt thanks from teachers in Afghanistan who have benefited from your generosity.

Pupils at more than 200 schools in the UK have held money-raising events to help push the fund past the six-figure landmark.

They have answered the call to help their counterparts in Afghanistan with sponsored runs and swims, making and baking, and performing and playing.

Primary teacher Nadjia - like many Afghans she only has one name - said:

"When teachers all over the world are looking after these poor people in Afghanistan and helping rebuild the system, it makes me very happy."

Headteacher Aburahim said: "We are so thankful to all peace-loving people who are enabling us to help ourselves become scholars and good citizens."

Nadjia works at a UNICEF tented school on the Shomali plains north of Kabul. She has not been paid for three months but was delighted to hear that her pupils had not been forgotten. "This appeal is wonderful."

Aburahim, 38, is head of Kabelbui middle school, Kabul, which has 1,865 boys and girls in 18 classrooms and six tents. He told The TES: "We were closed during the Taliban years but UNICEF has given us floor covers to sit on, tents and stationery."

As The TES went to press the appeal fund stood at pound;101,486, which will be spent repairing schools, buying textbooks and stationery and training teachers there. TES editor Bob Doe paid tribute to the charitable efforts of teachers and pupils at a particularly busy time of year.

"TES readers and their schools have responded magnificently, in spite of all the tests and exams this term," he said.

"There is still time for every school in the country to help us double the amount raised so far. Go to our website to find out how. And let us know what you are doing to support the appeal."

Ted Wragg, professor of education at Exeter University and founder of the appeal, added: "This is brilliant. It's a marvellous achievement but we need more money to make sure as many children as possible in Afghanistan get all the help we can give them."

Anita Tiessen, UNICEF's deputy executive director in the UK, said: "The response has been fantastic. Every penny raised will make a huge contribution to UNICEF's work in Afghanistan."

Pictures of school life: www.tes.co.ukafghanistan

Schools for peace, 17 Mothers flood back, 34 The next battle, Friday, 12 Ted Wragg, Teacher, 19

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