After learning about climate change and endangered species, Marlborough St Mary’s Year 5 pupils in Otter class have raised money for various eco projects around the world culminating in an astounding £1470 for the Rainforest Trust. Pupils also wrote passionate letters to global leaders of their choice asking for changes to government policies for eco issues they felt strongly about.
The fund raising started last Christmas when the pupils made and sold Christmas gift tags from recycled materials. This activity raised £36 to help sponsor an elephant family in Africa, that was under the care of the Born Free Foundation who were ensuring the animals’ safety from poachers. Another £50 was raised to help the Olive Ridley Turtle project who care for injured turtles caught in netting and other man-made hazards. They were able to name their very own wild sea turtle ‘Coral’.
Teacher, Becki Ambrosini, said, “This was a fabulous achievement, but Otter pupils wanted to do more things that would help battle climate change and protect species. We looked to the Rainforest Trust, an organisation who fundraise to buy up and secure rainforests under threat from the many issues the children had learnt about such as illegal logging, gold mining, illegal farming, snaring and the exotic pet trade to name a few. It was a perfect fit! The children set their target at £1000, which was ambitious, but considering their determination to make a real difference in the world they never allowed this to daunt them.
The pupils held a sale of their toys, books, games and clothes and then followed this up with a sponsored walk, from 11am – 3pm in their own local rainforest – Savernake. The end result has been an amazing £1470.
The children are really proud of their amazing achievements and the school is too. Pupils voted for their favourite rainforest project and have ended up buying 211 acres in Laos for the endangered Asian ‘unicorn’ (Saola) and 91 acres of prime tiger territory in Thailand, securing not only crucial habitats, as well as securing a total of 27 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide.
The children have not only shown an unbelievable level of commitment and perseverance and have also demonstrated excellent levels of team work, project management as well as handling money and accounting. They used their persuasive techniques to the maximum and followed a democratic process to choose their winning sites – it’s been a brilliant learning opportunity for the children, run by them with a real life outcome for the forests and animals. Congratulations to Otter pupils, you have made a legacy for the planet!”