School backs £15,000 appeal to help needy
and pupils at Laurelhill Community College are giving their full
support to a campaign by the school's Head of Religious Studies
to raise £15,000 to build a nursery school for orphaned and
destitute children in South Africa.
George Mullan took up the challenge after an
inspirational holiday in the country during which he came upon
'God's Golden Acre', where the nursery school will be located.
'God's Golden Acre' was founded by Heather
Reynolds in 1995, a woman described by Nelson Mandela as 'one of
the historic figures of the New South Africa'.
She aims to support and care for children in
The Valley of a Thousand Hills in the KwaZulu Natal area of
Many of the children have been orphaned or
are destitute as a result of AIDS, violence and high
George was inspired by one of Heather's
programmes which was to provide Early Education Centres for
children between the ages of three and seven.
These children are often neglected with
regard to development stimulation because their caregivers are
forced to place more emphasis on family survival.
Many of the children come from small two room
homes with no basic facilities never mind educational
stimulation so these centres are invaluable.
At present in one area of the Kwa Ximba
Valley over twenty pupils are using a metal container as their
nursery school, but with Laurelhill Community College's help a
new Early Education Centre is now a reality.
Top fundraisers from
Laurelhill Community College who took part in a
sponsored walk which raised £7,939.52 for the
Gods Golden Acre charity pictured with teacher
George Mullan. In total the school has raised
£18,000 for the charity through different
events. US26-116A0 Picture By: Aidan O'Reilly
There will be a small building that will
house two classrooms, a toilet, a kitchen, educational equipment
and materials and a salary for the teacher who is at present not
George has championed the children's cause
amongst the staff and pupils at Laurelhill Community College and
Enthused by his motivation and desire to
raise £15,000 the College staff and pupils have rallied around
and organised a staggering variety of fundraising activities
such as a sponsored walk, teddy bear sales, end of term
concerts, line dancing, video afternoon, supermarket bag packing
George, the staff and pupils at Laurelhill
would also like to thank the following for their charitable
donations and tremendous support for the project:
Bodywork Kids Class, Hillsborough
Presbyterian Girl's Brigade, Ballinderry Guide Company,
Knockmore Primary School, Nendrum College, Fitzroy Presbyterian
Church, Exhibit, Gino, Bling Time, Game The World, Clinton
Cards, Lagan Valley Leisureplex, Eurosport, Lisburn School of
Music and Umbro.
There have also been many very generous gifts
from parents and friends.
"Having seen the situation in that part of South
Africa you could not help but want to get involved," George
said. "It has been a challenge, but thanks to the encouragement
of friends and the incredible generosity of so many that dream
will become a reality in the next few months.
"If you would like to find out more the
charity has an excellent website -
www.godsgoldenacre.nl. The theme for our fundraising was 'We
can make a difference', and I believe we have. Thank you."