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Shipment of hope

Schools across Edinburgh have been gathering books and backpacks full of stationery, clothing and other useful items ready to be shipped to Kenya.

The project is an extension of Scottish International Relief's Backpack campaign, which has successfully shipped more than 80,000 backpacks to Africa.

The campaign also fits into the Friendship and Co-operation link that the council's children and families department has had with the district education office of Meru South in Kenya since 2004.

A full container will have the approximate value of pound;100,000. However, the cost of shipping one is pound;4,000 and schools are participating in activities to raise the money.

Marilyne MacLaren, convener of the education, children and families committee, said: "This help will be even more welcome during the difficult times of political unrest currently affecting Kenya.

"I know how much it means to young African students to have this kind of practical support and messages of concern for their wellbeing. It is a real beacon of hope for their future."

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