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A drive to fund an African aid mission by Derbyshire’s Mount St Mary’s College has got off to a good start with news of a £1,500 grant.

The British Council has chosen the Spinkhill school to develop international links with Zambia as part of a new school twinning project, Connecting Classrooms, to boost global education.  The group of 15 pupils from Mount St Mary’s College has been discussing the trip for some time but the grant has helped get it off the ground.  They are now gearing up to travel to Africa next January to carry out a range of charity work in a small Zambian village.

The group plan to carry out work in a local school and work on projects within the community to help improve sustainability.  Connecting Classrooms is a UK government and British Council education initiative and Mount St Mary’s has been selected in recognition of its commitment to teaching students about global issues.

Fundraising Programme Launched

The school has launched its fundraising programme for the next year, which will include cake sales, a sponsored walk and litter pick and a clothing collection for recycling.  There will also be a science project and a fundraising Dinner and Auction at the school in March.

Fr Simon Ellis, chaplain at Mount St Mary’s College, said, “The trip to Zambia is an amazing opportunity for pupils to learn about global issues and develop new skills whilst also making a real difference to a community in another part of the world.”

Secretary of State for International Development, Justine Greening, said, “I am very pleased that Mount St Mary’s College is taking on this excellent opportunity to link with schools in other parts of our world.  Connecting Classrooms will enable pupils to learn about the world around them, about the facts of poverty that face children their own ages in developing countries, and how education can help eradicate poverty.”