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Andrew Mitchell praises pupils ‘digging deep’ for Pakistan

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell to congratulate pupils at Lordswood Boys’ School in Birmingham for their fundraising efforts for people in flood-hit Pakistan.

Andrew Mitchell, the International Development Secretary, will today congratulate pupils at Lordswood Boys’ School for their fundraising efforts for people in flood-hit Pakistan.

Lordswood pupils have raised almost £800 in three weeks for the flood relief effort through a non-uniform day and buckets stationed in the school canteen.

Andrew Mitchell will enjoy a presentation by pupils from the school’s fundraising team who have previously taken part in exchange trips with their counterparts at a school in Pakistan. He will also take questions on international development during a Q&A session with pupils.

Lordswood School is linked with the Pakistan Scout Cadet College (PSCC), a school in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province which was one of the first areas hit by the floods. The schools have been linked for the past five years through the DFID-sponsored Global School Partnerships (GSP). 

A series of school exchanges has taught both teachers and pupils from both countries about different cultures, languages, and even sports activities, with the Pakistan pupils instructing their Birmingham counterparts in Kabaddi, a popular team sport. 

Students communicate regularly with each other through video conferencing and web links and work jointly on projects.

Andrew Mitchell, International Development Secretary, said:

“It is great to see Birmingham pupils digging deep to help those in need in Pakistan. Since the flooding began 7,000 schools have been destroyed and millions of school children have had their education disrupted.

“The fundraising taking place at Lordswood, which has been mirrored across Britain, is making a difference to families in Pakistan who have lost their homes, their possessions and their livelihoods.

“Britain is standing by Pakistan in its hour of need and the £59 million given by the public on top of the £134 million committed by the Government is helping Pakistani communities who are in desperate need. We have now moved from emergency response to a rehabilitation stage which will get the country back on its feet, including getting children back into school.”

Dave Hadley-Pryce, Head Teacher at Lordswood School, added:

“We are delighted that the minister is coming here today and seeing the outstanding international work our school is doing.”

The link between Lordswood and PSCC is part of the Global School Partnerships programme funded by UKaid from the Department for International Development and managed by the British Council, Cambridge Education, UKOWLA and VSO. The schools receive support to develop partnerships and promote global education.

The students’ fundraising has contributed to the generous response from the British public to the disaster. The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) appeal has raised £59 million so far.

The floods have destroyed nearly two million homes, with over 20 million people affected. More people have been affected than the Asian tsunami, the Haiti earthquake and the 2005 Pakistan earthquake combined, making it one of the worst natural disasters of modern times.

The UK Government has been at the forefront of international efforts to help the people of Pakistan survive the devastation wrought by the floods. Last week Andrew Mitchell announced that the Department for International Development (DFID) would increase its contribution to £134m, helping to rebuild the country in the long-term.