Sup­port for bid to erad­i­cate killer disease

Pupils’ help­ing hand for Malawi

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser - - Talking Politics - Ju­dith Ton­ner

Pupils at St Mar­garet’s High are ex­pand­ing their part­ner­ships in Malawi by sup­port­ing ini­tia­tives to help erad­i­cate ra­bies.

Young­sters marked world ra­bies day by rais­ing £250 for the vac­ci­na­tion of 100 dogs in the coun­try’s Mu­lanje and Blan­tyre re­gions, and are col­lect­ing med­i­cal re­sources to donate to in­ter­na­tional char­ity Mis­sion Ra­bies, along with pro­jec­tors for its ed­u­ca­tion pro­gramme.

They will be handed over when a group from the Air­drie school visit Malawi in June, with the group also due to at­tend a con­fer­ence hosted by the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

St Mar­garet’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives will use their con­nec­tions with Mu­lanje ed­u­ca­tion board and Sis­ter Anna To­massi’s CCC Trust, cater­ing for more than 6000 nurs­ery chil­dren, to ed­u­cate young­sters on how to avoid dog bites and what to do if bit­ten; as well as link­ing with the 40,000 con­gre­ga­tion of St Joseph’s Parish to share the mes­sages.

First- year pupils are get­ting in­volved through their new Mis­sion Ra­bies group, co- or­di­nated by S6 stu­dents who vis­ited Malawi in June; and projects for the group trav­el­ling to Africa next June will in­clude paint­ing a school- wall mu­ral de­signed by S3 pupil Mar­tyna Dy­long, with paint pro­vided by Mill­bank Dec­o­ra­tors of Coat­bridge and St Pa­trick’s Church in the town also do­nat­ing to the project.

St Mar­garet’s head teacher Stephen Snee said: “Our com­mu­nity has pro­vided ed­u­ca­tional ma­te­rial and re­sources to schools and pris­ons in Mu­lanje, but this takes it in a whole new di­rec­tion.

“Our pupils have re­ally taken the lead on this project and are pas­sion­ate on car­ry­ing ed­u­ca­tion into Malawi; the ex­pe­ri­ence of pupils who have al­ready vis­ited has re­ally helped paint a pic­ture for the group and fo­cus their en­ergy on the tasks ahead.”

Coun­cil leader Jim Logue, who rep­re­sents the school’s Air­drie Cen­tral ward, vis­ited for the of­fi­cial launch of its Mis­sion Ra­bies group and said: “I’ve en­cour­aged the pupils to share their work with feeder pri­maries to raise aware­ness of what they’re do­ing and of the disease, and I’m fully sup­port­ing their idea to work through parishes and Sis­ter Anna, as this will greatly in­crease the num­ber of peo­ple they reach.

“Hav­ing vis­ited Malawi on sev­eral oc­ca­sions, par­tic­u­larly in the ru­ral ar­eas, I’ve wit­nessed groups of dogs in close prox­im­ity to young chil­dren who are to­tally un­aware of the dan­gers they face and known of ra­bies cases in the hos­pi­tals.

“It’s tragic that peo­ple are still dy­ing from this wholly pre­ventable disease.”

Of­fi­cial launch Coun­cil­lor Logue with St Mar­garet’s Mis­sion Ra­bies group

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.