Skye youngsters clock up more than 10,000 miles for Zambian school fundraiser

Grace Maclean (new S2) and Iain MacInnes (new S1) together on a cycle in Kilmuir

Skye youngsters are using the last week of term to make a final fundraising push to help school pupils in Africa.

The Portree High students were challenged to clock up the miles and between them run or walk the distance between Skye and Lusaka, Zambia – home of the Hope and Faith Community School.

Over the last two months pupils and teachers have completed 11,000 miles, easily surpassing their original 7,880-mile target.

Pupils at the Hope and Faith School

Now the youngsters have been challenged to add a further 1,000 miles before the term ends, and to add to the £900 that has been brought in for the project.

A donation of £5 will pay for school meals for all pupils at the school, which has long established links to Skye.

The school began in 2003 with two pupils, but has since grown to help provide education – and a daily meal – for over 600 children on the outskirts of the Zambian capital.

Teacher Sheena Amos at the summit of Ben Tianavaig

Since 2005 thousands have been raised on Skye to help the project through the Friends of Hope and Faith charity.

There have been exchange visits between the schools, and Portree teachers Neil Burrows and Tony Breen had been due to head to Africa at Easter, with two Zambian teachers returning to Skye in May.

It is now hoped the exchange can go ahead in 2021.

Money from Skye has helped Zambian youngsters

Mr Breen, Portree’s deputy head, said the challenge had been a positive one – both for the charity and for the health and well-being of the pupils during lockdown.

He added: “We are very pleased with the balance of work and wellbeing for the majority of our pupils.

S2 pupil Joshua Turner

“Looking at our provision of online learning in comparison with the rest of Scotland, most parents have been happy with the different ways in which pupils have been learning – from watching teachers pre-made videos, google meets and chats, online quizzes, and even DIY science practicals.”

To contribute to the Hope and Faith fundraiser click on the link here.

Teacher Thomas Coles on his bike