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Cambridge school children take the first steps towards Chipata

Students from William Westley Primary School
Students from William Westley Primary School

Pupils from William Westley Primary School in Cambridge recently stepped up to the World Orphan Week challenge to ‘Walk to Chipata’ to help raise valuable funds and awareness for SOS Children’s work in Zambia.

The William Westley School has supported SOS Children’s work since 1998. Through a variety of fundraising activities in the past 15 years, the school have raised thousands of pounds for our charity. The school currently sponsor an SOS Children’s Village in Tlokweng in Botswana. Through the sponsorship, pupils are able to learn about what life is like growing up in a different country, as well as the difficulties faced by orphaned and vulnerable children.

Pupils and teachers recently decided to get involved with World Orphan Week. The week, which runs from 4-11 March each year, highlights the number of children around the world growing up alone. This year, the challenge is to collectively ‘Walk to Chipata’ – taking part in a sponsored walk, run, swim or row, to cover the 9,000 miles between the UK and Zambia. Supporters are encouraged to take on the challenge as soon as possible to help to reach the milestone.

The awareness and funds raised through World Orphan Week enables SOS Children to change the lives of these vulnerable children to ensure they grow up with the love, care and security of a family.

The Year 4 class at William Westley, aged between 8 and 9, together completed a 14 mile walk on the journey to Chipata. They were the first school to take part in the challenge. Monique, a young girl who took part, says that she knows the difference the Walk to Chipata makes: “We hope that if SOS Children raise enough money, more children will be able to grow up with mothers and a family.”

Headteacher at the school, Mr. Paul Bryant, says: “We are delighted to be involved with World Orphan Week. Through our ongoing involvement with SOS Children, our pupils are learning about the situation for children growing up less fortunate than they are. By taking on the challenge to ‘Walk to Chipata’, they are helping to raise valuable funds to change the lives of vulnerable children in Zambia.”

Monique and the other children in her class who took part in the walk feature in the World Orphan Week video, which encourages others to join in the walk. Of being asked: “What do you think about walking 9,000 miles to Chipata?” Monique replies: “If it was just us walking, I think we’d be very tired. But I hope you can all join in to help us raise money for Chipata.” You can watch the video here:

Join the Chipata challenge

World Orphan Week is your chance to reach out to children who do not have a family to care for them. Whether you would like to get involved as a school, an office, with your friends, or would like to take on a challenge individually, find out how you can help Walk to Chipata and change the lives of children in Zambia.