For small overseas development charities like Children of Songea Trust - with no promotional budgets – unsolicited donations are pretty rare. So we were more than a little surprised to receive a call from Gillian Fergusson of High School of Glasgow informing them that £3,000 had been raised by students for the charity – particularly as there was no relationship with the school prior to the fundraising taking place.
Gillian said “The pupils of Bannerman opted for Children of Songea Trust because they wanted to support a children's charity in particular. In addition, they wanted to support a charity which had less of a 'high profile' in the media. The pupils felt that there was a real connection between the charity in Scotland and the people it helps in Tanzania, and the older pupils especially liked the fact the support was sustainable and longer term.”
The main fundraising event was the 'Sleepover for Songea' where pupils had a sponsored camp-out in the gym hall overnight with sleeping bags and told stories round a (fake!) campfire. They also organised a sponsored 'Live Like a Tanzanian for a day' event, where pupils gave up all their electronic gadgets (mobile phones, iPods etc) and walked to school (some of them took over an hour to do so). In addition, the school had a Tanzanian meal supplied on that day by the school caterers, who donated part of the profit from that to our fundraising. There was a 'Tanzanian Tucker Trial' where pupils from the school were given the challenge of eating very unusual food in front of the rest of the school who paid an entry fee to come and watch.
Gillian added “The point of the fundraising was obviously to support the charity in the form of raising money. However, the pupils of Bannerman House are committed to making others (and themselves) more aware of the needs of others, and of how fortunate we are in our situation to have what we do. Therefore we wanted to raise awareness about the work the charity does, and we did this through a presentation to the school in Assembly. Our House motto is 'Not just a house, a home' and we hope that the Trust is now part of that home!”
All the trustees would like to express their great appreciation for the work of the pupils and staff at Glasgow High School for their incredible fundraising efforts.