More than 180 Year 8 pupils at Ballyclare Secondary school took fundraising to a whole new level recently when they went without their comfy beds for one night in aid of local charity, Hope365, which works to provide beds for street kids in Ethiopia.
Stacey McAuley, a pupil at Ballyclare Secondary School, explains: “We wanted to raise funds for Hope365 after learning about the plight of hundreds of children, some as young as seven or eight, who have to sleep on the streets of Shashemene, Ethiopia, every night.
“We decided to ask our friends and families to sponsor us to sleep on the floor in our homes, which was certainly tougher than sleeping on a comfy bed but nowhere near as difficult as the conditions that the children in Ethiopia have to endure each and every night on the streets.
“I definitely appreciate my cosy bed and the safe roof over my head even more so after this experience, as does everyone who learnt about the kids in Ethiopia.”
Ballyclare Secondary School pupils raised a magnificent total of £863 which will be used by Hope365 to buy beds for street kids in their Tesfa Manoriya Bota or Hope Home in Shashemene, Ethiopia.
Michael Holmes, chief executive of Hope365, adds: “Having shared a little about the struggles facing street kids with the Year 8 pupils, I was blown away by their level of enthusiasm to help. They couldn’t quite believe that other children of a similar age to them were experiencing such a harsh existence in 2017. We really appreciate the pupils raising this significant sum for Hope365 and we commend them for rising to the challenge of sleeping on their floors for one night.
“To raise awareness further the pupils were game enough to brave the elements on a cold winter morning recently to lie on the playground in coal sacks, something the Ethiopian street kids try to find to help them stay warm overnight, spelling out Hope365, which was clearly visible from the air.”
Michael will be travelling to Ethiopia over Easter and will be installing plaques, specially made by the Ballyclare Secondary School’s technology department, in the street kids’ bedrooms, which the children from Year 8 have funded.
Michael added: “I’ll be showing the children in Ethiopia this video of how their peers in Ballyclare have been helping them and I know they will be very impressed and send a huge thank you to all the pupils.”
As well as having charity shops in both Ballyclare and Crumlin, Hope365 team members are always happy to share their work with street kids in schools, churches and businesses. Call 028 9303 8792 for more information.