Turn­ing page for kids over­seas

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Local News - REXINE HAWES

Your un­wanted chil­dren’s books could make a dif­fer­ence to stu­dents in Pak­istan and other de­vel­op­ing coun­tries.

A book drive is the first in­ter­na­tional project for the new­ly­formed Mata­mata Col­lege In­ter­act club.

In­ter­act (In­ter­na­tional Ac­tion) is spon­sored by Mata­mata Ro­tary aimed at stu­dents aged 12-18.

Mata­mata Col­lege stu­dents Pa­trick Roskam and Brooke Dun­bar are co-pres­i­dents, in the group which has 12 ac­tive mem­bers.

It is over­seen by mem­bers of Mata­mata Ro­tary, in­clud­ing im­me­di­ate past pres­i­dent Michelle Tan­ner, who at­tracted the at­ten­tion of the two se­niors at a talk she gave at the col­lege.

Brooke says she saw the po­ten­tial it could have in the world and in­stantly wanted to be in­volved.

‘‘I want to be part of a group that aims to make a dif­fer­ence.

‘‘I want to make an im­pact but it’s hard when you aren’t in a group.

‘‘It’s (the book drive) an easy thing to start, but will make a big im­pact.

‘‘Every­one has books, I know I have ones that I will never use again.’’

They are seek­ing the gen­eros­ity of the com­mu­nity to do­nate read­ing books, jour­nals and text books.

The book drive idea is part of a global wide Ro­tary project to help build and de­velop a lit­er­acy cen­tre in Jhang, near La­hore, Pak­istan.

Mata­mata Ro­tar­ian’s part­nered with with other clubs in Dehli and San Deigo - along with in­de­pen­dent fi­nan­cial con­trib­u­tors.

Tan­ner vis­ited the school, which is un­der de­vel­op­ment, in 2014.

It has 171 stu­dents of vary­ing ages, with lit­er­acy lev­els of 10-11-year-olds.

At that stage it had two class­rooms, with a cov­ered area out­side. The stu­dents sat on mats and worked from slates.

She said she saw one book, which the stu­dents were very proud to have.

‘‘That was my mo­ti­va­tion,’’ she said of Mata­mata’s com­mit­ment to the project when she was pres­i­dent from 2016-2017.

Tan­ner will re­turn to the school in Oc­to­ber once it’s com­plete with a com­puter lab­o­ra­tory, li­brary and re­sources. She hopes to take some of the do­nated books with her to present to the stu­dents.

‘‘Now is the time to col­lect scion wood, the bit that is grafted onto the root­stock.

‘‘This needs to be col­lected in the dead of win­ter, la­belled and stored.’’

The project has gen­er­ated sup­port from The Mata­mata Col­lege Hor­ti­cul­tural De­part­ment and the Mata­mata com­mu­nity.

If any­one has a tree and wants to be in­volved, please con­tact Ben Troughton, who will ar­range for some­one to col­lect a graft.

Email him at kaimaiviews@gmail.com or (07) 888 7111.

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