A local educational charity has won £1,000 in the Big Give Christmas Challenge Awards announced last week.
Pestalozzi was nominated in recognition of its success in raising almost £21,000 in the Big Give week, November 28 to December 5, last year.
The charity’s campaign focused on ‘Giving the gift of an education’ to their students, who are based at the International Village in Sedlescombe, near Hastings.
Each year the Pestalozzi International Village Trust welcomes about 40 young people to East Sussex where they live for two years, studying A Levels at local colleges. All of the costs are covered by donations from supporters.
The charity works with young people from the most marginalised communities of Belize, Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe, as well as Tibetans in exile in India and Nepal. The schools in these countries struggle to meet the needs of high-achieving but low income students.
The Christmas campaign raised funds to pay for the school fees and educational supplies for a year for three students. The award money means the costs of educating another student can be covered. It highlighted how student Mingyur Paldon had overcome challenges to gain an education and had the potential to improve the plight of Tibetan refugees, caught up in one of the world’s longest running political conflicts.
The 17-year-old grew up in one of the Tibetan refugee settlements in India after surviving a perilous trek over the Himalayas as a toddler, carried in the arms of her mother. Mingyur vividly remembers being urged to close her eyes so that the brightness of the snow did not damage them.
She now dreams of helping the young people of her community overcome poverty, homelessness and exclusion as they build a new life in exile.
Mingyur said: “It’s wonderful to know that the support of so many generous people in the UK will make a real difference to the lives of students and give them opportunities.”
Pestalozzi’s CEO, Mrs. Sue Walton said: “We are thrilled that we have won this award. We know our students change the lives of many others when they leave here. The money raised is already making a big impact.”
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