Pupils walk – and walk – for charity

Pic shows cheque presentation -  Debbie Lawson (Chair of Woodburn Primary School Parent Council), Josh (p7 Pupil), Kari Spence (Founder of TiSR Charity), and Aillie (P7)
Pic shows cheque presentation - Debbie Lawson (Chair of Woodburn Primary School Parent Council), Josh (p7 Pupil), Kari Spence (Founder of TiSR Charity), and Aillie (P7)

In the last eight week’s pupils at Dalkeith’s Woodburn Primary School have walked to Rwanda and back – more than 13,000 miles.

But the youngsters haven’t set foot out of Midlothian in their marathon fund raising effort.

That effort resulted in a cheque for £2022 being handed over to charity Together in Sport Rwanda as the pupils, teachers, families and friends joined in the last leg of the walk.

Debbie Lawson, chairman of the school’s parent council, explained: “Over the last eight weeks we have been taking part in a ‘Round Trip to Rwanda’ which has seen our pupils and their families combining efforts to walk the equivalent of a round trip to the Faith and Hope Academy in the Bugasera district of Rwanda.

“We asked all our families to walk five miles a week to reach the target,” Debbie continued, “and on Friday we walked the final mile and a half.

“The whole school – pupils and staff – along with families and members of the community took part in the final walk.”

That meant hundreds of people doing laps of the school’s playing field, from primary one pupils upwards.

The project is linked directly with the school’s Global Citizenship focus where all of the children have been learning about the 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development and attempting to make these famous.

“The fund raising was a bonus,” Debbie added.

The money raised by the youngsters will go to the charity’s food programme and the Dalkeith youngsters’ cash will go a long way – £15 will feed five children for a month.

Kari Spence, founder of the charity, herself a PE teacher in Edinburgh, was on hand to receive the cheque from the school.

And as well as the money, Kari will be taking banners the children have made to Faith & Hope, along with a recording of the children singing Rights of a Child. She hopes to bring back a similar recording from Rwanda.

Together in Sport Rwanda aims to improve the life opportunities open to school children in Rwanda’s rural Bugasera district by seeking sponsorship of individual pupils at the school to provide education and health insurance for all.

Now Debbie hopes that Woodburn’s walking effort will walk out into other parts of Midlothian.

“My plan is to make contact with other parent councils in the area to see if we can pass the baton round other schools in Midlothian,” she said.