My #Penrice3580 On Thursday 9th March 2017 I spoke with Children in Kissi Town, Sierra Leone. 3580 children died of Malaria in the first year of Project 3580’s work in Kissi Town, Sierra Leone. I couldn’t believe this, so I decided to find out more… Sierra Leone is one of the poorest countries in the world, with about 70% of people living below the poverty line. Project 3580 was set up to help the people of Kissi Town after the founder visited the country and learnt the shocking number of deaths caused by the preventable disease, malaria. Previously, Project 3580 have visited and supported the people of Kissi Town through the renovation of schools and the donation of supplies. Here at Penrice Academy, Assistant Principal Mr. Knipe, who is heavily involved with Project 3580, told us in assembly all about Kissi Town and the work the project does for the people of Sierra Leone. Penrice Academy students wanted to help as much as possible, and so #Penrice3580 was formed; our aim to raise £10,000 to ship a container of supplies over to Kissi Town to help. Our fundraising story started with departments coming together and creating and decorating a donation box to collect clothes, toys medical supplies – which the community of St. Austell has already filled to the top once. Then, more than 700 students participated in a Sponsored Fun Run to raise money for the container. The student council has also organised a fundraising week, with each year group doing their bit to help raise money – for example Year 7 are hosting a spring fate for the staff and students and Year 9 are running a photo booth with props. Over the course of only 4 weeks, Penrice Academy have smashed their target and so far have managed to raise well over £12,000, with donations still coming in daily! I wanted to raise awareness for Project 3580, as I feel strongly about the cause and wanted to do my part for the school, the community, and the charity. Therefore, I arranged a phone interview with some of the children in Kissi Town to speak to them directly regarding the work our school is doing. “I want to thank you for the things that you have been doing for our children!” (Denis, Pastor of a school in Kissi Town) I was touched both by how lovely the children were, and by their lack of resources. Every student I spoke to said they enjoyed school, but they wanted chalk and boards to write on to help them with their education, and footballs, as they simply love football. Hopefully we can raise even more money to help the children of Kissi Town, and give them the education they deserve. So what’s next? Next week is Charity Week – ending in a 24 hour event run by Year 11 and a non-uniform day. In April three members of staff from Penrice Academy are going over to Kissi Town to renovate the school and create a Penrice classroom; see the camp; provide some immediate aid; and of course, spread the news of Penrice Academy’s fundraising efforts. We will also continueto receive donations in our very own donation box before shipping the container to Kissi Town and through our Just Giving Page. We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported our International Charity Project, and the children of Kissi Town. (Bella, Year 9) Watch out for Bella on BBC Spotlight tonight, Thursday 16th March 2017, from 6.30pm.