Support for bid to eradicate killer disease
Pupils’ helping hand for Malawi
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