Youngsters fill up to aid water needy

Gateways pupils with one of the Acquaboxes.
Gateways pupils with one of the Acquaboxes.

Over the past few weeks pupils at Gateways School in Harewood have been collecting humanitarian items – ranging from a toothbrush to clothes pegs to a child’s toy – to fill Acquaboxes which will then be sent to disaster areas around the world.

The school has been involved in the Acquabox scheme for 20 years through contacts with the Rotary Club of Leeds Elmete.

Once the Acquaboxes arrive at their destination and the contents are emptied out, the boxes and the filters inside are used to provide purified drinking water for the local communities. Each box can be used to purify up to 1,100 litres of polluted water, providing sufficient drinking and general washing water for a family of six for over a year.

The whole school – from Pre-Reception right through to Sixth Form – has been involved in donating items to fill the 15 boxes that have been supplied by the Rotary Club.

The boxes will be collected later this month and will then be distributed to areas of need.

Jane Foster, Gateways School Community Outreach Co-ordinator, said: “Many of the boxes will be sent to Cambodia to aid the situation there after the flooding at the end of last year.”

The United Nations estimates that 1.2 million people out of a population of about 15 million in Cambodia have been affected and that around three-quarters of the country’s land area has been inundated.

Yvonne Wilkinson, Gateways School headmistress, said: “At Gateways we encourage our students to participate in projects that benefit those less fortunate than themselves.

“It has been heart-warming to see the way in which every pupil in the school has been supporting the appeal.”