x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Dubai pupils raise Dh13,500 for children in Sudan

More than 600 children in Darfur will have access to clean water thanks to the fundraising efforts of primary-school pupils in Dubai.

DUBAI // More than 600 children in Darfur will have access to clean water thanks to the fundraising efforts of primary-school pupils in Dubai.

The youngsters from Jumeirah English Speaking School (JESS) in the Arabian Ranches paid Dh22 each to ditch their uniforms yesterday. To further boost their total, they roamed the corridors and the area around the school armed with buckets and irresistible smiles to collect more donations.

By the end of the day, they had raised Dh13,507.25 to provide personal water filtration systems called LifeStraws for children in Sudan.

Prit Chouhan and Emmeline Killa, who each have two sons at JESS Arabian Ranches, started the programme in 2010. "We wanted our children to know about children around the world who are not as fortunate as they are," said Mrs Chouhan.

Their first fund-raiser, in December 2010, raised money to buy LifeStraws for children affected by the floods in Pakistan.

"We conduct presentations and hands-on demonstrations of the filter for the children in the week leading up to the fund-raiser," said Mrs Killa. "We want them to know why they are doing this and they get to touch and see the device that they will be giving to the children they help.

"This is about coming full circle from our school to their school. It about children helping children."

"We chose Sudan because they are facing a drought and can't plant crops and many have to walk for miles to get to a source of water," said Mrs Chouhan.

The LifeStraw Personal, invented by the Swiss company Vestergaard, can filter up to 1,000 litres of water and removes most microorganisms responsible for causing diseases such as diarrhoea, dysentery, typhoid and cholera.

"We get full reports on when the LifeStraws arrive and how the children are using them," said Mrs Chouhan.

"The teachers are also shown how to use it so that they can teach the children."

malkhan@thenational.ae