Ahead of the end of term festivities and feasting, Cranleigh dedicated Friday 28th November to ‘Live Below the Line Day’. Normal meals were replaced with ‘Zambian equivalents’ and somewhat reduced portion sizes to normal: breakfast was a bowl of steaming porridge, lunch was a tasty combination of polenta, beans and cabbage, and supper was a bowl ofBelow Line (2) soup. Both the different cuisine and the smaller portions made for a more challenging day for students and staff alike!

This is the third year that Cranleigh has recognised a ‘Live Below the Line Day’. The global aim of the day is to recognise how many people in the world live below the poverty line, on $1 a day. In particular, Cranleigh wanted to raise awareness for our sister school ‘Kawama Community School’ and the wider Kawama community in the copperbelt region of Zambia. The group of Sixth Form students who visited Kawama in October decided that the day was about making Cranleigh students more aware of what it is like to be a child in Kawama. Many of the families sending their children to the school are unable to feed themselves more than once a day (if that), and one of the schemes that Cranleigh and our partner charity ‘Beyond Ourselves’ has introduced at Kawama is a daily feeding programme. In the Chapel service on the Tuesday beforehand, Cranleigh students were told that the ‘success’ of the day didn’t lie in the ability to withstand temptation to eat something extra on Friday, but the very process of having to think about where the next meal was coming from or looking forward to the extra big breakfast on the Saturday might be something to challenge what we so often take for granted.

Friday was also a Mufti Day, and students and staff donated £2 each to go straight to the Kawama community. Overall,Below Line £1345.45 was raised during the day! Some students ran a stall selling products made by the Kawama-based social enterprise Kawama Krafts, including bags, scrunchies, aprons and bunting – all in beautiful chetenge material. The products sold totalled about £400. The money raised will ensure that all the 167 children at Kawama who currently need new school shoes will be given a brand new pair.

We are still striving to increase our ‘Child Sponsorship’ for the children who attend Kawama School – our target is have 225 children sponsored, but we are currently 80 children short. £12.50 per month provides so much for a child for so little and details of how you could sponsor a child can be found by visiting the Beyond Ourselves website or by getting in touch with Laura Sturdee (lecs@cranleigh.org).

Laura Sturdee