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Campbell River students raise over $6,000 for South Sudan charity

Students read book on water crisis in South Sudan, decided to raise money to help build a well

A grade 6/7 class from Phoenix Middle School in Campbell River has raised over $6,000 for the Water for South Sudan charity.

After reading the novel “A Long Walk to Water” in February, Mrs. Gordon’s class decided to raise funds for the charity. The story is about a boy who was separated from his family at around 11 years old due to conflict within Sudan, which has since split into two countries: Sudan and South Sudan. In the story, the boy walks over 2,800 kilometres to refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya.

The class learned how kids in South Sudan — particularly girls — do not go to school because they have to walk for hours every day to collect dirty water for their families’ needs.

RELATED: Lesson on access to clean water moves Campbell River students to take action

The book combines the true story of a boy named Salva Dut with the fictional story of a girl named Nya. Dut actually started the charity in 2003 with the goal to “deliver sustainable quality-of-life services to the people of South Sudan by efficiently providing access to clean, safe water, and improving hygiene and sanitation practices in areas of great need,” according to the charity’s website.

During the reading, a few students suggested that the class fundraise for the charity.

Students learned that though kids in Canada get to go to school and do not have to walk for hours a day to get water, there are still many communities in Canada that do not have clean water.

“Ultimately, they based their decision on kids and believed that all kids no matter where they live should get to go to school and not have to spend their day collecting water,” reads a release from the school.

They had an initial goal to raise $8,000 to go towards the cost of building a well (which has a total cost of $15,000). Though they did not meet their goal, the class did raise $6,600 for the cause.

“This is an amazing feat considering they were fundraising through a pandemic and were not able to fundraise the same way they would have if there was no pandemic,” reads the release.

The class would like to thank:

  • Fresh Slice Pizza for their $1000 donation.
  • Campbell River Fire Dept. for their $750 donation.
  • KDC Health Center for their $400 donation.
  • Community members in Campbell River for supporting their fundraising efforts and/or donating.
  • Domino’s Pizza for helping us fundraise through pizza night and pizza week. Members of the
  • Phoenix Middle School Community for donating any spare change they had.
  • Jennifer Patrick SD72 communications manager for helping us spread the word about our fundraising efforts through SD72 social media sites.
  • Rick Robertson and Ward Beitel SD72 Painting and Sign Designs for making us our big cheque for our final picture.
  • The Raven 100.7 FM for coming to interview the kids every few weeks, helping us spread the word about our fundraising, promoting our fundraising on the radio, and for taking all the pictures!

RELATED: Campbell River Charity checkstop a resounding success

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