Little kids show big hearts

Matt Molloy
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Local Grade 2 kids raise close to $300 for African school

Monica Sinyard sits in the middle of the Grade 2 students at St. Anthony Elementary School after accepting their $262 cheque, which will go towards helping other students at Muringato Primary School in Africa.

A little can go a long way – just ask the Grade 2 students at St. Anthony Elementary School.

Those kids had a special guest speak to them in May about life in Africa, and how life there is drastically different than the ones they’re used to enjoying here.

After that presentation, which included many pictures, the young philanthropists decided to do their part to help make lives a little easier for the kids in one African school.

The students did their own fundraising, and asked the special guest, Monica Sinyard, to come back to the school last Monday for a special presentation – a $262 cheque.

Ms. Sinyard was blown away with the kids’ genuine effort to help.

“It makes me want to cry. I think it’s amazing,” said Ms. Sinyard. “They look at it like, ‘That’s another kid like me who doesn’t have shoes, yet I have 10 pairs, so I’m going to help them.’ It’s the right thing to, and as children, they realized they had to help.”

Ms. Sinyard returned to her hometown of St. Anthony in November after spending a six-month internship in Africa, which was funded by the Canadian International Development Agency through the College of the Rockies in British Columbia.

While there, she spent countless volunteer hours at the Muringato Primary School, and it’s the students at that school the local Grade 2 kids want to help.

One student, Emma Reardon of Goose Cove, raised $134 from a bingo, and that money has already made a difference to the kids at Muringato Primary School.

“They took it upon themselves,” said Ms. Sinyard of the kids’ charity. “I know we’ve already had a donation given from one of the students (Emma) in the class, and the money she gave has already supplied the whole school with food for two weeks, which is huge. All of the kids realized they’re lucky to have so much, and they saw through the pictures that the kids there have so little. They thought, ‘I need to help,’ and I think that’s amazing for their age group.”

As for the rest of the raised funds, Ms. Sinyard says it will be given to the right person who will put it to good use.

Now that she’s home, another intern has taken her place in Africa, and Ms. Sinyard will email her the funds, and in turn, she’ll give it directly to the principal of the African primary school.

“I’ve been in contact with the principal of the school I did a lot of volunteering at, and there’s another intern there now from Canada doing the same work I was doing, so I email her the money, and she hands it directly to the principal,” said Ms. Sinyard. “Every cent goes directly to the school. For example, the $134 that Emma raised went directly to the school with no overhead cost, and it all bought food.

“It’ll go to the same school…and the principal said that money will be used for food and supplies.”

The students in the two Grade 2 classes were more than happy to help others in need.

Two of those students, Dominick Taylor and Megan Reardon, said it didn’t take the class long to realize other kids their age, kids they’ll probably never meet, needed their help.

So, they answered the call.

“When she came in, she told is how some of the houses were fancy, and some weren’t very good. They don’t have electricity, and they don’t have food like we have here. They don’t have as much stuff as we have, but they’re still happier than us,” said Dominick. “It’s important to help them because we have so much money here, and they don’t, and they can use it for things like school supplies and food. If we help them, they can do what we do here.”

“They don’t have a lot of things, but they stay happy, even though they don’t have a lot,” added Megan. “It’s important to help them, because where they live in a poor country, the more money we give them, the more things they can buy, like food and school supplies.”

Contact Ms. Sinyard at msinyard@hotmail.com if you’re interested in helping the kids at Muringato Primary School.

Organizations: College of the Rockies, Grade 2, Muringato Primary School Canadian International Development Agency

Geographic location: Africa, British Columbia.While, Goose Cove Canada

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