Pupils learn to sew to help Cam­bo­dian kids

Macclesfield Express - - YOUR VIEWS - RHI­AN­NON MCDOWALL

ATEACHER who was in­spired to help needy fam­i­lies in Cam­bo­dia has mo­ti­vated her stu­dents and col­leagues to help her.

Re­becca Lu­cas, who teaches tech­nol­ogy at The Mac­cles­field Academy, drafted in the help of 15 stu­dents to sew new clothes for chil­dren liv­ing in poverty in Cam­bo­dia.

She was in­spired to set up the project ‘Clothes for Cam­bo­dia’ af­ter go­ing on hol­i­day and see­ing the poverty first hand.

She said: “On my visit to Cam­bo­dia last year it stuck me how de­spite all th­ese chal­lenges it does not quell the peo­ple’s en­thu­si­asm for life.

“It also in­spired me to think about how our stu­dents could of­fer sup­port while rais­ing aware­ness of chil­dren less for­tu­nate than them­selves.

“It’s been a whole school ini­tia­tive, from staff hav­ing sewing lessons to stu­dents learn­ing how to read and lay pat­terns and how to use a sewing ma­chine.”

Re­becca raised money for ma­te­rial by hold­ing sewing classes for staff.

The stu­dents – who worked on the out­fits dur­ing their ‘En­rich­ment Lessons’ – then made nine dresses, six pairs of trousers and four pairs of shorts, which were de­liv­ered to chil­dren in the Siem Reap prov­ince by Re­becca through the char­ity ‘Care4Cam­bo­dia’.

Re­becca said: “It was fan­tas­tic to be able to pho­to­graph the chil­dren to show the stu­dents back home the en­deav­ours of their hard work. Most of th­ese chil­dren in Cam­bo­dia will never get any­thing new to wear.”

Re­becca, who has a pas- sion for life-draw­ing, has also been able to pro­vide three bikes and rice and pro­vi­sions for five fam­i­lies in Cam­bo­dia by hold­ing an ex­hi­bi­tion of her work at the Snow­goose in Mac­cles­field.

Re­becca, who went to Cam­bo­dia along­side the char­ity Heart­print, which builds houses for des­ti­tute fam­i­lies, said: “There are no ben­e­fits in Cam­bo­dia, from child ben­e­fit to pen­sions, so if you don’t work there is no money. A bike means that the adults can travel to work, and the chil­dren can get to school.

“Ev­ery pound do­nated, and ev­ery pound raised by the ex­hi­bi­tion went into buy­ing the bikes. There was also some money left over which bought bags of rice and pro­vi­sions for the el­derly in the vil­lage.”

Re­becca, who also gave draw­ing lessons at an out­door school and a drug re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion cen­tre dur­ing her visit, is plan­ning fu­ture ex­hi­bi­tions to pro­vide more bikes for fam­i­lies in Cam­bo­dia.

Year nine stu­dent Hannah Bootes with one of the out­fits made by stu­dents, teacher Re­becca Lu­cas in Cam­bo­dia and a Cam­bo­dian girl mod­els one of the Mac­cles­field Academy cre­ations

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