Kids praised for Malawi school work

A GROUP of kindhearted youngsters received praise after helping build four classrooms in Malawi.

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Patrick Burgess, chairman of intu Properties - owners of the shopping mall at Braehead - praised teenagers at a Scots secondary school for their entrepreneurial skills in raising the money. He flew from London to visit the pupils at Gleniffer High School, in Paisley and hand over a £2000 cheque to help their fundraising efforts.

As part of the school's Make It Malawi Project, the pupils are to transform a derelict building into new classrooms and also construct a girls' toilet block at the school in the poverty-stricken village of Dzenza.

The ambitious project was only made possible after the teenagers persuaded bosses at the intu Braehead shopping centre to donate £6000.

The management team at the mall also mentored and helped pupils organise fundraising events at the mall and in the local community.

As well as traditional fundraising events like raffles, the teenagers collected and sold unwanted mobile phones and recycled clothes, as well as organising a fashion show, with outfits provided by stores at intu Braehead.

Then pupils got a boost when a further £2000 was donated after the mall's management team won the extra cash as part of the intu Properties Chairman's Award, which donates to the best three community projects from the company's 16 shopping centres in the UK.

Mr Burgess said: "I have been impressed by the pupils for the perseverance, inventiveness and entrepreneurial skills they have shown in raising the many thousands of pounds needed for this worthwhile project.

"It is admirable how they have taken an idea they had to help the school in Malawi and over many months have seen the project through to reality.

"At intu we are always keen to become involved in and help the charitable efforts of the local community."

The finishing touches to the building work at the new classrooms and toilet block will be carried out by 24 Fifth and Sixth year pupils when they visit the school, in central Malawi, this summer.

Head teacher at Gleniffer High School, David Nicholls said: "We cannot thank intu Braehead and Patrick Burgess enough for their support.

"Not only are the pupils going to be able to do so much more at the school in Malawi, but what they have learned from the involvement of the intu Braehead team and the journey they are on will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives."

Education

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