Cranleighans attempted to live below the poverty line on December 3rd, as Chef John Smith and the superb catering department prepared meals similar to those which pupils have experienced in Zambian community of Kawama on recent Beyond Cranleigh trips. As purely an educational experience, the day provided a sobering contrast to the Christmas festivities we look forward to later this week. The day was uncomfortable for most as we coped with mealie-meal porridge for breakfast, nshima, cabbage and beans for lunch, and soup for supper. Although most students were pleasantly surprised by the food, the smaller quantities left many facing progress tests in the afternoon with a rumbling stomach. However, thanks to the positive vibe fostered by the two teams who have recently been out to Kawama, the majority of pupils tried to embrace the challenge, sought to consider the plight of our friends in Zambia, and certainly felt grateful for all that we have here at Cranleigh.

Although the aim of this Live Below the Line day was to provide a sobering experience and a small opportunity to step out of our ignorance for a moment, it is also linked to the support we give to children at Kawama School. It is difficult to concentrate and learn if you are hungry. The sponsorship that we provide (of £12.50 per month – that is less than 50p per day) not only gives the children an education (which they absolutely love!) but provides a nourishing meal each day, along with other necessities. We currently sponsor 135 children at Kawama with a target of raising this to 225 to give the school a sustainable future. If you’ve been moved to sponsor a child, please follow this link .